Anna Maria (Thompson) Henderson, 52, of Benton, departed this life and received the embrace of our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ on Sept. 28, after a long and valiant battle with colon cancer. She was surrounded by loving family at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock at the moment of peacefully passing into the next life. She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald D. Thompson and Estella L. Thompson; her paternal grandparents, George and Essie Thompson; and her maternal grandparents, Arley and Essie Hodgson. She was born on Dec. 8, 1958 in Livermore, California, having graduated from Granada High School in Livermore and attending Chabot College in Hayward, California. Her most devoted vocation was that of wife, mother and grandmother, but her fulfilling occupations included Special Services Representative with America West Airlines in Phoenix, Arizona, and medical receptionist at Arkansas Women’s Center in Little Rock and Central Arkansas Women’s Group, Benton. It was during her tenure with these employers where she developed many special lifelong friendships, and leaves behind a host of good people whom she admired and respected, and in turn, admired and respected her.
Anna was a committed Christian and member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Benton. She was an active member of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) and a charter member of Woolen Works, a ministry of ladies engaged in knitting and crochet for the benefit of others and for fellowship among its members. She volunteered time and labor to Habitat for Humanity of Saline County, and provided financial support and needed items to the Humane Society of Saline County. She served as an adult troop leader for Girl Scouts of America during the years when her daughters were actively participating in the Brownie, Junior and Girl Scout programs. But it was her role as a faithful wife and devoted mother which brought her the greatest satisfaction. A pinnacle of her life’s joy was being present and witness to the births of her two grandchildren.
Left behind to forever cherish her memory are husband of 33 years, Dr. Reino “Randy” Henderson of Benton; daughter Sarabeth Henderson and fiancée Chuck Stuart of Little Rock; daughter Megan Duggan and husband Sean of North Little Rock; son Tyler Henderson and fiancée Robyn Covert of Haskell. Survivors also include one brother, Donald David Thompson and wife Sue of Green Valley, AZ; father and mother-in-law Oswald and Jean Henderson of Pleasanton, CA; uncle, Harold Thompson of Napa, CA; aunt, Bettye McKnight of North Little Rock; aunt and uncle, Patty and Brooks Berry of Bryant, AR; aunt, Frances “Sissy” Majors of Augusta, AR; sister-in-law Susan Henderson-Nold and husband Dave of Berkeley, CA. Nephews and niece include Julie Goebel and husband Steve of Hayward, CA; Matthew Thompson and wife Jenn of San Jose, CA; Nick Nold and Will Nold, both of Berkeley, CA. Her pride and joy grandchildren are Estella Mae Stuart and Owen Michael Duggan, and one Great-nephew, William Goebel. Loving cousins surviving are John Hodgson of Livermore, CA; Margaret Ann Gritton of Silverton, OR ; Janice Carroll of Silverton , OR; Tommy Thompson of Chattanooga , TN; Paula Watkins of Little Rock, AR; Donald Hodgson of California; Joyce Bumpas of Stuttgart, AR; Pam Smith of North Little Rock, AR; Cindy Douglass of Bryant, AR; Dr. Phillip McKnight of Beaver Dam, WI; Robbie Berry of Bryant, AR; Patrick McKnight of North Little Rock, AR and Amy Thompson-Morton of Heber Springs, AR. Second cousins include Allyson Hughes, Ashley Sexton, Alyana Smith, Karissa Garner, Ryan Berry, Katie Berry, Mindy Watkins, Whitney Smith, Craig Smith, Sam Rogers, John Clawitter, Joanie Martin, Laura Ayers, Travis Thompson, Jessica Thompson, Christopher Thompson, John McKnight, Stephanie McKnight, Carter McKnight, Emily McKnight, Sophie McKnight and Claude “Buddy” Bumpas.
A memorial service of Liturgy and Holy Eucharist will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1112 Alcoa Rd, Benton, AR. The Rev. Lorrie Slaymaker will be celebrant. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Memorial gifts may be made to: Habitat for Humanity of Saline County, the Humane Society of Saline County or Heifer International.
The family extends special thanks and love to: Cindy Douglass, Anna’s first cousin and “soul sister,” who provided much needed emotional support, companionship and tender care for the duration of Anna’s journey with cancer; Dr. Diane Wilder, Julie Wilkins, R..N., and the entire chemotherapy team at Little Rock Hematology/Oncology who rendered compassionate and exemplary medical care, treatment and guidance to Anna throughout the long ordeal; to the ladies of St. Matthew’s ECW for their tireless encouragement, ministry and friendship they bestowed upon their spiritual sister Anna; and to the wonderful staff, doctors and nurses of OrthoSurgeons in Little Rock, for their overwhelming concern, kindness and prayers over these last few years of Anna’s life. To all of you, your efforts, thoughts and labors of love to Anna and us were instrumental in sustaining and extending her life through difficult and trying times. For this, we are eternally grateful.
On-line guest book at ashbyfuneralhome.com.