Major Thomas Hill Henderson, US Army (Ret), Airborne Ranger, MSE PE of Arimo, Idaho passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Sunday, 12 August 2018. With his grandchildren visiting his ranch and wife of 45 years at his side, Tom died happy.
He was born 9 April 1955 in Pocatello, Idaho to Robert Smith Henderson and Anna Helen Hill, of Arimo. Tom’s pioneer ancestors helped settle the Marsh Valley, and the ranch he loved. He inherited a strong work ethic and love of freedom from his ancestors.
As a young boy, Tom dreamed of being a soldier. After graduating from Marsh Valley High School in the class of 1973, he earned a BE from Idaho State University, where he also excelled in the ROTC program and received a commission as an officer in the United States Army. Tom was married to his high school sweetheart Merle DeVaun Larsen and she accompanied him faithfully through each of his duty stations: Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Belvoir, VA; Schofield Barracks, HI; Provo, UT; South Korea; and Cookeville, TN, with their growing family. While in Hawaii, their family was sealed in the temple. Tom graduated from both the United States Army Airborne School and Ranger School. Education was important to him; he always encouraged his children to pursue knowledge and work hard.
Tom’s keen mind for math served him well as a Combat Engineer. During his tour of duty teaching ROTC at BYU, Tom also completed his MSE. In 1995, Tom retired from the Army and moved to Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, where he began his civilian life as a corporate roofing engineer. Later, Tom was drawn to use his engineering skills in disaster remediation efforts including Hurricane Katrina, and Afghanistan. Finally, Tom had enough of seeing the world and wanted nothing more than to retire to his ranch in Arimo, Idaho. He and Merle did so in 2012. Tom moved pipe, cows, and sagebrush until his final day.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Robert Hill Henderson. Tom is survived by his wife, Merle, and their six children with seven grandchildren: Heather Henderson; Anna (Tony) Warner BA; Rachel (Rocky) Kerr MS; Samuel (Mandy) Henderson MPA; Amanda Henderson MS, and Capt Matthew Henderson, US Army, BA. Tom is also survived by his aunt Alice (Wendel) Dunn, and his uncle Stanley Henderson, and their descendants.
He loved his wife and family, his ranch, his dogs, the gospel, and the Constitution, and would have freely given his life to defend them. A man of faith, he served wherever he was called. He will be missed by many. A viewing will be held Thursday, 16 August 7:00-8:00pm at the Arimo Stake Chapel on Henderson Street. The funeral will be at 11:00am Friday, 17 August 2018 at the church.There will be a memory book in which the family would appreciate recollections/stories of Tom be contributed. Donations may be sent to Ireland Bank – Tom Henderson Memorial.