Martha Brand HendersonOctober 24, 1925 ~ October 21, 2017 (age 91)
Martha Brand Henderson
Martha Brand Henderson passed away peacefully at home on October 21, 2017 following a short illness.
Marty was born on October 24, 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois to Esther Hoover Brand and Herbert Amery Brand. She grew up in Western Springs, Illinois. She was part of a close knit family including her sister, Peg, and two brothers, Bill and John. The family spent their summers on Lake Michigan in "Dunewood" cottage on a high dune overlooking the lake. The cottage held a special place in Marty's heart and she would return there with her own family every summer until her children were grown.
As a child, Marty grew to love dance. She attended summer camp at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. While at camp, Marty fell in love with the Colorado mountains and longed to return there some day.
Marty graduated from Lyons Township High School and continued on to The University of Wisconsin. There she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma, and remained active with her sorority throughout her life. She studied dance, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education.
While at University of Wisconsin she met and fell in love with Jim Henderson. The two were married for 68 years until Jim’s death in 2015. Jimmy, as Marty called him, would tell the story of how he was pitching in a baseball game when he first laid eyes on his beautiful future wife. He was so distracted that he threw an errant pitch which went over the backstop (Jim was one for embellishing his stories).
Following Marty’s dream to return to Colorado, the couple moved to Denver in 1954. In Denver Marty dedicated her life to raising their four children Nancy, Tom, Judy, and Susie. She not only filled the house with love and home cooked meals, but was a rock for her family and friends. She had a fierce "can do" attitude and would tackle any problem with determination.
The family spent much time in Marty's beloved mountains exploring, hiking, and skiing. Her children remember her allowing them the opportunity to roam and play freely. The family home bordered a large field which was a favorite place for all four children to play. When Tom would return home with bull snakes, frogs, crawdads, and once even a magpie, Marty would allow him to keep the animals for awhile before returning them back to the wild.
Marty exposed her children to the arts, making sure that they had access to music and dance lessons. She also read to the children nightly, instilling a love of books.
Marty inherited a love for gardening from her mother. She tended the flower beds and a large vegetable garden with care, and would present an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, and other vegetables to her friends and neighbors.
The couple moved to their cherished home on Lake Creek in Edwards, Colorado when Jim retired. Marty and Jim made the most of their retirement. They hosted friends and family, and especially loved it when the grandchildren arrived. She passed her love and passion for nature on to her children as well as her grandchildren. She often took her grandchildren on hikes, identifying wildflowers and birds. She was an avid puzzler (crossword and jigsaw), spending hours playing with her grandchildren.
We will miss her amazing spirit, her knowledge of flora and fauna, her home cooked meals, her enthusiastic singing of Christmas carols, and her spunky ways. She brought such love and joy to her family and those around her, and we feel so lucky to have had her in our lives.
Marty is survived by: daughter Nancy Henderson; son Thomas B. Henderson (Susan); daughter Judith Henderson (Robert Collier); daughter Susan H Rothenberg (Steven); grandchildren Jessica A. Rothenberg, Karlie C. Andreas, Cathryn N. Rothenberg, Leonard A. Henderson, Zachary A. Rothenberg, Madeline H. Collier, and Adrienne C. Henderson.
A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial donations in honor of Martha Brand Henderson may be made to Salvation Army, Friends of Man, or Smile Train.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign Martha's guest book and share memories and/or photos by clicking the appropriate tab.