Winfred “Fred” Henderson, 69, was born December 24, 1950, in the grist mill in Caryville, Fl. He passed into the arms of Jesus in the presence of his family on August 12, 2020, at Twin Cities Hospital, Niceville, Fl. He was preceded in death by his parents, Glen and Flora Henderson, brothers, Ben and Thomas Henderson, sisters Ida Smith and Wilma Laird. He is survived by his loving companion of over 25 years, Rae Dunn Garmon, children Bryan (Kailey) Henderson, John F (Heather) Henderson. Glenda (Jefferson) Sweet, Angela (Andrew) Dunn, and Chris (Tara) Garmon; and 17 grandchildren Bailey, Joshua, Blake, Brianna, Abigail, Glenn, Joey, Madison, Celee, David, Spence, Eve, Davis, Maggie Rae, Alice, Maybree and William. He is also survived by his brothers, John Glen Henderson and Allen (Roseanna) Henderson, and former wife, Debbie Henderson.
Fred and Rae were given the opportunity to raise four grandchildren from birth, Blake, Glen, Joey and Celee. This was the joy of his life. When asked how they did it, he would always say with a smile “One bottle at a time, one diaper at a time, one baby at a time.”
A proud 1969 graduate of Niceville High School, Fred believed “Once an Eagle – Always an Eagle.” He was a talented saxophone player in the marching and concert bands and chosen to play in the jazz band. After graduation, he served 3 years in the U.S. Army. He was a proud Vietnam Veteran, where he served as flight engineer on chinook helicopters. His crew often extracted soldiers under fire, saving hundreds.
Fred was a true Boggy Boy. After his service he moved a few times, ever closer to home, until he settled in Villa Tasso, where he and his former wife, Debbie Collinsworth Henderson, raised their 3 children. He began a civil service career under Veterans’ Authority at the commissary. Because of his strong work ethic and ability to do anything he put his hand to, he retired as a Maintenance Technician with 34 years.
“Coach Fred” served as VP of the Niceville Little League and coached numerous teams, many to state-level championship competition. He loved teaching children teamwork, sportsmanship and aspiring to do your best. He spent his life demonstrating a love for God, family and country through his words, prayers and actions. He leaves behind many individuals following the example he set – He will be sorely missed.
Fred was always the “go to” person for his family, friends, and even strangers – anyone in need. Countless meals, lodging, help and support came from his strong, yet gentle, hands led by a tender heart for God.
Fred and his family attended Church on Bayshore (formerly First Baptist Church of Niceville). When he was no longer able, he loved worshiping with the on-line services. He faithfully studied his Bible and strived daily for a closer relationship with Christ and to live his life for God.
To further his impact on the building of God’s kingdom, in lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the Freeport Church Plant Fund, which can be brought to the service or mailed to Church on Bayshore, 622 Bayshore Drive, Niceville, FL 32578.
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