OBITUARY OF ERIC DALE HENDERSON, April 30, 1934 - September 26, 2023
Eric Henderson, known to his friends and family as a lover of wine, music, and good conversation, passed away at the age of 89 on September 26, 2023. Since November 2014 he lived at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, 1733 Kirby Road, Apt. 1309, McLean, VA 22101. He was born and grew up in Bridgeport, Ohio, moved to the Washington D.C. area in 1962, and lived in Reston, VA for 45 years.
He had a BA in International Studies from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and did additional graduate work at American University and George Washington University. His military service was in the U.S. Army Security Agency from 1953-55; he served in Korea and Japan as a cryptographer.
He had a 31-year career with the National Photographic Interpretation Center at the Central Intelligence Agency, retiring in March 1994. At NPIC he was chief of the Reference Services Division from 1985-94. He was a management instructor at the CIA’s Office of Training from 1974-76. The units in which he served received presidential commendations for work during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Desert Storm, and he received several personal commendations.
Eric was a life-long lover of music. He played jazz bass with several Potomac River Jazz Club bands and with the Tallwood Trio, a group he helped form, and one that played occasionally at Vinson Hall, the retirement community where he lived. He also enjoyed dancing. He was in a folk dancing group as a teen and met his wife at a college dance. An excellent ballroom dancer, he also taught it while in the Army.
He was active in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University. As a certi\ied wine specialist, he taught wine courses and led trips to wineries. He also taught history and “I Was There” classes on topics including the Cuban Missile Crisis and recorded an oral history session about it for the archives at George Mason University Libraries. His love of music, good food and wine, travel, and poetry led him to write poems and several short essays about various aspects of his life.
He is survived by Carol Henderson, his wife of 64 years, two daughters, Claire Henderson of Winchester, VA (and a son-in-law, Peter Serafin) and Ann Henderson of Richmond, VA, plus a granddaughter, Louise Serafin of Winchester, VA. He was the oldest of four brothers, and is survived by a brother, Nelson Henderson of Fredericksburg, VA, as well as several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life in Eric’s honor will be held at a later date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation, which supports programs at Vinson Hall, the nonprofit retirement community where Eric received such excellent nursing care during the last months of his life.