Barbara Jane (Hood) Henderson passed away February 14, 2019 at Highland Park Care Center in Alliance, NE at the age of 87. Bates-Gould Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Services will be Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Alliance. Following the services friends are invited to join the family for dessert at the West Side Event Center. Visitation will be Monday from 1-7 p.m. with the family being present from 4-7 p.m. at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home.
Barbara was born to Robert and Hazel Hood August 16, 1931 in Scottsbluff, NE. The second of four daughters, she spent her early childhood in Sioux County where her father was a ranch hand. Her first teacher was her mother, but she later attended school in Harrison and Scottsbluff, where she graduated from high school in 1948. She worked as a secretary at Consumer Public Power in Scottsbluff before her marriage to William R. Henderson on May 11, 1952 at the United Methodist Church in Scottsbluff. Together they ranched with his father and brother under the Earl Henderson & Sons banner in Sioux and Box Butte Counties.
A strong-willed woman with an incredible work ethic, she always seemed to have time for one more task or volunteer mission. As a young woman she was her father’s hired hand. She could saddle and ride a horse, rake hay, check water, fight fire, care for a house full of youngsters, and cook for an infinite number of people—branding and bull sale day were special events. Barbara loved to make bread, pies, and great roast beef. In her mind “food was love” and sharing her table was the greatest gift you could give her. Until arthritis claimed her hands, she was a beautiful seamstress, making suits for her and her husband to wear to Hereford functions and bull sales.
Her work as a secretary was very important to her and its lessons followed her throughout life. A file for everything and everything in its file. She kept meticulous ranch records. It is ironic she died on Valentine’s Day as one story she enjoyed telling about her days as a secretary, was the Valentine’s Day she left work to find a handsome neighbor sitting on his car in front of the building with a smile on his face. His mother had talked her parents into allowing him to drive her home for the weekend, and to bring her back to Scottsbluff on Sunday. In later years she even shared a box of love letters he had written her. After sharing them with a grandson, he commented “Pa had game”.
Barbara cherished her active role in the lives of her four children. Along with her husband, Barbara was a 4-H leader of the Belles and Bobbies and Barrel Springs 4-H Clubs and a volunteer from 1962 to 1985. She attended calf shows and fashion shows. She ran the 4-H Food Booth at the Box Butte County Fair and served on the 4-H Council. She was the driving force behind the idea that every member of the 4-H club should give a speech or demonstration; a little public speaking is good for everyone.
There was nothing she enjoyed more than caring for her grandchildren. She attended their livestock shows, rodeos, school and church programs, speech meets and plays. She taught them cooking, sewing, and driving. A day at Grandma’s didn’t mean watching TV and laying on the couch. There was gardening, cooking, cleaning and delivering snacks to the hay crew and their help was needed to make that all happen. The reward for a day’s hard work was often a bonfire which ended with homemade ice cream made by Grandma and churned by Pa.
She served as treasurer for the Alliance Chapter of Soroptimist International and enjoyed worshiping at the Alliance Methodist Church where she participated in Bible study and the Methodist Faith Circle. She was a member of the Nebraska Cowbelles and the Nebraska Hereford Auxiliary.
She is survived by her four children: William R. Jr. (Pam); E. Douglas (Sally) all of Alliance and daughters Ann Henderson and Carla Berglund both of Mesa, AZ. Her grandchildren: Jeri Massie, Gary Henderson, Shea (Zach) Baird, Sage and Cody Henderson, Trey and Micayla Berglund and great grandchildren Anthony Massie and Owen and Libby Baird. She is also survived by two sisters, Roberta Laursen, Lakewood, CO and Margie Boardman, Reedley, CA; in-laws Dorothy Henderson, Alliance and Mary Jane (Tom) Gray, Vale, OR and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her life-long best friend Joan Johns of Omaha, NE. She is preceded in death by her husband and sister Shirley Laursen.
The family suggests memorials to the Box Butte County 4-H Council, 415 Black Hills Avenue, Alliance NE 69301 or The United Methodist Church of Alliance, 704 Box Butte Avenue, Alliance, NE, 69301.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.