BIrds 03

Mary Ellis Henderson

December 25, 1929 ~ October 25, 2020 (age 90)


In Loving Memory of Mary Ellis Tyler (Henderson).  

Mary is second born out of 16 to Frank Henry and Lucy Bernice (Kimbrough) Tyler. 

Mary was born in Galesburg, Illinois on December 25th, 1929. She graduated from Galesburg High School at age 17 and went off to Western Illinois State Teachers College in Macomb, IL.  She finished College in 1951, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education.  She then taught Elementary school in Champaign, Illinois. Mary married Joseph H. Henderson in 1953 and they had a beautiful life together for 57 years. They were inseparable. She was 14 years old when they met and 24 when they married.  They spent their whole lives together! What a blessing! In 1954 after moving to Portland, Oregon, Mary worked for Portland Public School District as a Classroom Teacher, Area Specialist and Personnel Administrator/Affirmative Action Specialist. She received a Master of Science Degree from Portland State University in 1974.  Mary retired from the Portland School District in 1986.

Mary loved to keep in touch with friends and family.  She touched many lives with her caring heart.  She was a mentor, teacher, life coach, role model, matriarch and more.  It was important to her to stay in touch with family and friends.  Every year she would hand write dozens of personalized Christmas cards.  Mary and Joe would also prepare holiday food and gift baskets for family and friends.  We will always remember the story she loves to tell.  “I’m Mary, I married Joseph.  I was board on Christmas Day, and rejoiced the birth of our daughter Gloria”.

She lived a rich and fulfilled life.  Joe and Mary were a part of a bowling league for years and loved it!  One of Mary’s favorite activities was fishing.  They would load up the motorhome with the boat in tow, to “their paradise”, the Snake River in Richland, Oregon to fish and socialize.  Mary loved to garden. Mary and Joe also loved to play a card game called pinnacle.  Every month they would host a tournament at the house. 

Mary leaves behind a loving family who will miss her dearly.  Children: Gloria Jo Little and Daryl Keith Henderson; Grandchildren: Bryan David Little, Diana Michelle Smith-Little and Mychal David Little; Great Grand Children: Nevaeh Little, Trey Smith-Little, Genesis Little and Jayden Little; Brothers and Sisters: (Sisters)Odie Campbell, Delores Simmons (Brothers) Bond Tyler and Jerry Tyler; She also leaves behind her beloved Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and good friends.

We will miss her deeply as she goes to join her Heavenly Family.  We have been very lucky to have known this loyal Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend, Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority (Life member joined 1955), Prince Hall Eastern Star Member and mentor in the Portland Community.

To Those I Love
When I am gone, just release me, let me go so I can move into my afterglow- 
You mustn’t tie me down with your tears, lets be happy that we had so many years- 
I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave me in happiness.  
I Thank You for the love you each have shown, but now it’s time I traveled on alone.  
So, grieve for me awhile, if grieve you must, then let your grief be comforted with trust.  
It’s only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart- 
And then, when you must come this way alone, I’ll greet you with a smile and a Welcome Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Ellis Henderson, please visit our floral store.


Private Graveside _
November 27, 2020

Willamette National Cemetery
11800 Mt. Scott Blvd
Portland, OR 97086

© 2020 Terry Family Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy