Donna L. Henderson
1928 - 2016
Robinson Funeral Home
809 Main Street
Melrose, MA
Donna L. (Golder) Henderson, longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Friday, September 2, 2016, at age 88. Donna was born on May 13, 1928 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, one of three children of the late Leslie R. and Elmira (Bretz) Golder. She was raised and educated in Lewiston, Maine where she graduated from Lewiston High School with the Class of 1945. While continuing her education at Bates College, she met her future husband, Milton E. Henderson, while distilling alcohol in the Science Lab. Milton asked her out for a date, and even with other offers, Donna accepted. According to Milton, she was the prettiest girl on campus, and he was lucky to have gotten a date with her. They were married in Lewiston in 1951, and she furthered her education by obtaining a Masters Degree in Education from Boston University. Donna and Milton lived in Foxborough for several years where Donna taught second grade in the Public Schools. They then moved to Melrose where she taught algebra and geometry before starting their family. Very quickly they had five children, all born within six years. She became a dedicated homemaker, providing the necessary care and loving support to her husband, and five children. Donna was also very active locally with a variety of interests that centered around her love for learning. She was the past president of the American Association of University Women of Massachusetts. She helped organize AAUW events throughout the year, including her annual Evening at Boston Pops. Donna enjoyed attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra with her good friend Carolyn and later on with her husband. In Melrose, she was a member of the Great Books Book Club at Melrose Public Library, a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, and an active member at the First Baptist Church. With her constant desire to learn, she also took classes at the Harvard Extension School with her husband. Donna took piano lessons throughout her life due to her love of music. She and Milton enjoyed time away at their farm in Maine, and their summer holidays on Webb Lake. Above all else, she was a loving wife, devoted mother, and caring grandmother. In her own words you were always welcome the beds are always made up. She was the beloved wife of Dr. Milton E. Henderson with whom she shared 65 years of marriage. Devoted mother of Susan Henderson Mangubat and her husband Tony of Kona, Hawaii, Albert G. Henderson of Melrose, Christine A. Winton Henderson of Salem, James L. Henderson and his wife Samantha of Jackson, MI, and Elizabeth A. Henderson-Cartledge and her husband David of Malden. Cherished grandmother of Alindrina Hoak and her husband Mike, Alexander, Alicia, Eleazar, Elizabeth, Milton, Luke, Cash, Sophia, Alasdair, Oliver, and David. She really enjoyed being an Auntie to J.B., Bunty, and Bobby and good friends with Claire. Special thanks to Mary & Elizabeth for all their care. Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Donnas life at the First Baptist Church, 561 Main St., Melrose for her Funeral Service celebrated on Saturday, September 10 at a time to be announced. For online tribute, or directions, visit
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Published by The Melrose Free Press from Sep. 8 to Sep. 22, 2016.
Funeral service
First Baptist Church
561 Main Street, Melrose, MA
Funeral services provided by:
Robinson Funeral Home
Sponsored by Robinson Funeral Home.
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12 Entries
To all the Henderson family,
I have so many memories of Mrs. Henderson and her caring and love for my family and my Dad especially when he became sick - My fond memories of all the children that I babysat for, my respect and admiration for Mrs. Henderson and "Uncle Milty" for all these years. You have been blessed to have had a wonderful mother- she will always be with you in spirit!
Jeanie Marcoux Murray
September 14, 2016
Dear Henderson Clan,
What a blessing "Mrs H" was! I will never forget the card games, conversations and laughter around the kitchen table, as well as the friendship, gentleness and generosity Godspeed to Doc Henderson, Albert, Bette, JB, Chrissie, Jimmy, Susan & Bunty. With deepest sorrow,Stevie D
Steve Di Giacomo
Family Friend
September 12, 2016
Doctor Henderson, Elizabeth and family. Donna and I extend our condolences to you for the passing of Mrs Henderson. We often reflect on the wonderful customers we had over our 30 years in Stoneham. Your names always come up in those conversations. Although I did not know her very well I did hear about some great family moments that reflected her kindness.
Bill and Donna Adams
September 12, 2016
Dear Doc and family, Viera and I were so saddened to hear of Mrs. Henderson's passing. Our condolences go out to you and the entire Henderson clan. She was such a kind, generous and beautiful woman whose infectious laugh I can still hear today. She will be greatly missed by so many.
Gary Lyons
September 10, 2016
"Dear Milton and family, I have known Donna since 1974 when I joined the Melrose-Wakefield Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She and I became close friends; I really loved her. She was kind, gracious, generous, warm, highly intelligent, and a deep thinker. What a wonderful precious person! Deepest sympathy to all of Donna's loved ones and her many friends. Fondly, Phyllis Blacklock, Melrose, Massachusetts September 9, 2016"
Robert and Phyllis Blacklock
September 9, 2016
Mrs Henderson is a person whom I will never forget. She was a gracious, loving, kind woman. She and Dr Henderson provided me with great support when my father passed away and I am forever grateful for this. I know she will be greatly missed by both family and friends.
William Marcoux
Family Friend
September 9, 2016
We never had the privilege of meeting Ms. Henderson, but have been fortunate enough to know her son Albert, who is a very special person. Through my conversations with Albert it was obvious that he cared deeply for his mother, and is a testament to extraordinary work she did in raising her children. Albert is a blessing to those around him as I'm sure his mother was. Please accept our heart-felt condolences during this most difficult time.
- Todd & Jennifer Donnelly
Family Friend
September 8, 2016
Dear Milton and family
We were saddened to hear of Donna's passing. We will remember you in our prayers.
Dr. Francis and Genevieve McNamara
September 8, 2016
Dear Milton and all the Henderson children whom we have so many great memories. We are sending our love and a great hug to all of you. To us Donna was a classy, smart lady. Many times she was showing a quiet great sense of humor. We are sure by now she in God house listening to a very lovely symphony.
Margaret and Tom Jakobovits
Margaret Tom Jakobovits
September 7, 2016
Dr. H. and family, I can't begin to tell you how sad we are to learn of Donna's passing. Such a kind, caring lady that left everyone she met with beautiful memories. Your own memories will in part, help you through this difficult time. Rest in Peace lovely Donna.
Michael & Barbara Robinson
September 5, 2016
Please accept my most sincere Condolences, on the passing of Mrs. Donna Henderson. Although my memories are from long ago, they are of the fondest, of her and the entire family. I have been fortunate to be able to keep up with everyone through eldest daughter, Susan. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Jeffrey Stewart
September 5, 2016
So very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. She was a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church and she will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy to your father as well - sincerely, Linda Hughes Buttimer
Linda Buttimer
Family Friend
September 5, 2016
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