Lyndell Udell Henderson

Henderson—Lyndell Udell Henderson, 98, on September 24, 2020, at home in Atascadero, Calif., surrounded by family. Lynne was born on July 7, 1922, and grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., the oldest of four children of Blondell Jane and William Oscar Dickerson. When she was nine years old, as she would later tell family members, she took Jesus as her savior. She nurtured that relationship her whole life.

Lynne graduated on the honor roll from George Washington High School in Indianapolis, then attended Indiana University on a full scholarship. Following her third semester, Lynne returned home to help her parents, taking a job as a stenographer. She worked as a secretary for much of her life, finding great satisfaction in the work and developing long-lasting friendships with co-workers.

On November 26, 1941, eleven days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lynne met Robert Glenn Henderson, a sailor stationed in Indianapolis. On their second date, Bob asked Lynne to marry him. They were married ten days later at Lynne’s parents’ home. During the first four years of their marriage, Lynne lived with her parents and worked as a secretary while Bob was at sea for months at a time. Their first two children, Sulinda Jane and Cynthia Ann, were born during this time. After the war, Lynne and Bob continued to live in Indiana and welcomed three more daughters: Dorothy Jo, Barbara Gay, and Antonia Rae. In 1954, the family moved to Arizona, and three years later to California, where their son, Patrick Jay, was born. Lynne and Bob eventually made their home in Pasadena, Calif.

After Lynne and Bob retired, they moved to Atascadero in 2000 to be close to their daughters Sue and Toni. Lynne began attending Quaker worship with Sue.

In 2003, Lynne and Bob moved to Nevada City, Calif., to live with their daughter Dorothy and her husband, Doug, at Sierra Friends Center, a Quaker retreat and home of the Woolman Semester School and Camp Woolman. Bob passed away in 2005.

Lynne spent her final 18 years deeply grounded in Quaker faith. At the age of 90, she became a member of Grass Valley Meeting in Nevada City. She enjoyed quarterly and yearly meetings and traveled to Friends General Conference Gatherings in both Tacoma, Wash., and Greeley, Colo. During her ten years in residence at Sierra Friends Center, from age 81 to 91, Lynne came to know every staff member, student, and intern, bestowing her smile and unfailing gift of presence. In 2013, Lynne returned to Atascadero and transferred her membership to Central Coast Meeting.

Lynne’s commitment to Quaker values led her to become an active Woolman donor and to provide scholarships for her great-grandchildren to attend Camp Woolman. Lynne remained tuned into the happenings at Woolman until days before her death.

Lynne took great pride and joy in her family. Throughout her life, Lynne corresponded with family members, always acknowledging birthdays. More than 100 people attended Lynne’s ninety-fifth birthday celebration, most of them family members who traveled from around the country.

Lynne became a more outspoken activist and feminist during her later years. In her signature red hat and coat, she marched with her walker in the 2017 Women’s March. In June 2020, she donned a face mask and walked in a Black Lives Matter march in Atascadero.

Lynne was predeceased by her husband, Bob Henderson, and a daughter, Barbara Gay Nadel. She is survived by five children, Sulinda (Sue) Torrey, Cynthia (Cindy) Kramer, Dorothy Henderson (Doug Hamm), Antonia (Toni) Torrey, and Patrick (Pat) Henderson. In total, she is survived by 93 family members, 73 of whom are direct descendants.

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