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Thomas George "Tommy Wayne" Henderson


1948 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Thomas George "Tommy Wayne" Henderson Obituary
Born June 19, 1948, Thomas George Henderson, "Tommy Wayne," was raised in Altus, Okla. Tom completed his circle of life at his Sweetwater home on June 5, 2015.
Tom, a.k.a "Bones," was an honor graduate of Altus High School, class of 1966. He played Altus Bulldog football four years, was involved in high school theater productions, and served as delegate to Oklahoma Boys State. He attended Oklahoma State University and earned a chemical engineering degree in 1971. After graduation, he moved to Sweetwater and was employed by United States Gypsum Company where he was department manager for 16 years. Upon leaving USGC, and, until his death, Tom operated Newman Ranches, a family owned cattle operation established in 1879.
He married Josephine "Jo" Hill of Sweetwater on Nov. 16, 1974. Tom and Jo were blessed with one daughter, Hillary Jane.
Tom was passionate about his family and engaged with his hundreds of friends. He began sentences "My good friend…" and the ensuing conversation was filled with certain laughter and good will. It is believed that he attended all Altus High School reunions, not simply the five and ten year interval ones.
Tom volunteered, led, and participated in numerous Sweetwater organizational endeavors: Little Theater, Municipal Auditorium, Chamber of Commerce, WASP Museum, Rotary Club, Sweetwater Lake Yacht Club, Chuck Wagon Gang , Texas STTAR Committee and Jaycees. He founded the cook-off at the Rattlesnake Round-Up, and was a volunteer for Lake Sweetwater Fire Department and Bitter Creek Water District. He was instrumental in Sweetwater being named "All American City."
After introduction to thespian arts in high school, Tom continued a life-long appreciation of theater, especially of the Sweetwater Community Arts Theater. He assumed roles on stage, directed plays and volunteered behind the scenes, constructing sets and props.
Among his awards and recognitions are the 2002 Sweetwater Outstanding Male Citizen, the National Geographic Explorer Award, the USGC Distinguished Community Service Award and Leadership Sweetwater.
He is survived by his daughter, Hillary, and husband Ryan Pitts of Wewoka, Okla.; his sisters, Barbara Nichols of Oklahoma City, Okla. and MJ Henderson-Smith of Cushing, Okla.; his brothers, John of Eldorado, Okla. and Scott of Altus, Okla.; as well as 13 nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Jo, of Sweetwater; granddaughter, Harley Jane Pitts of Wewoka; his parents, Bryce and Mary Henderson of Altus, Okla.; his in-laws, Paul and Margaret Hill of Sweetwater; and his sister, Patricia Ann Crosswhite of Hennessey, Okla.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium at P.O. Box 584 or the WASP WWII Museum, P.O. Box 456, Sweetwater, TX 79556.
Services will be held at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium Friday, June 12, at 2 p.m. under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home. Following the service there will be a private family burial. The 67th Annual Weenie Roast will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Tom's home!
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mccoyfh.com.
Published in Sweetwater Reporter on June 9, 2015
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