Elizabeth Henderson Obituary – South Bend Tribune

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Elizabeth Ann Hathaway Henderson was born in Pontiac, Michigan on December 16, 1938, the only child of Charles Robert Hathaway and Janet Weber Hathaway. As a child, she and her family would move several times including stops in Okinawa, Japan, and California before settling in Dayton, Ohio.
Elizabeth enrolled in Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in 1958. She then enrolled in Ohio University in Athens where she was a member of Sigma AIpha Iota music fraternity and graduated with a degree in theatre arts in 1960. It was at Ohio U where she met her future husband, Clayton. Clayton was the accompanist for a theater performance and, when he heard Elizabeth sing for the first time, he knew he had to meet her. They went on to perform together many times, including when the Democratic Party asked Elizabeth to sing and Clayton to play the national anthem at a campaign rally for Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was running for president. It was on the drive to a performance in Maine when Clayton proposed. They were married August 8, 1959 in Kennebunkport, Maine and remained happily together until Clayton passed away January 7, 2018.
Elizabeth’s love of performing on stage led her to be cast in several operas, plays, and musicals. She also sang in many church and community choirs, including the South Bend Symphony chorus for nearly 30 years. This love of music and theater was handed down to her children, who were able to appear on stage with her in many shows.
While her children were growing up and participating in sports and recitals, she became their number one fan, helping them relax before a performance, (“breathe through your bottom”) or cheering her support from the stands (“swim like ‘Jaws’ is chasing you!”). She loved staying home to help raise them. Her love of books (especially mysteries) and information later led her to a job with the St. Joseph County Public Library where she retired as a reference librarian. She was also a member for over 50 years of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), an organization dedicated to helping women seek higher education.
Elizabeth leaves her five children: Gregory (Janet) of Vancouver, Washington; Jennifer Brandyberry (Mark) of Decatur, Illinois; Christopher (Holly) of Granger, Indiana; Ethan (Gretchen) of Tucson, Arizona; and Joshua (Katie) of Larkspur, California, 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In addition to Clayton, she was preceded in death by her parents and son, Aaron, and many beloved dogs.
Visitation will be held at 1:00 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022 at the Cathedral of St. James Episcopal, 117 N. Lafayette Blvd., South Bend, Indiana. Funeral services will be held one hour later. Committal will be in the Cathedral columbarium immediately following the service. Palmer Funeral Homes – Hickey Chapel and Southlawn Cremation Services are assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that any contributions be made to the St. Joseph County Humane Society, 2506 Grape Road, Mishawaka, Indiana 46545
Posted online on December 21, 2022
Published in South Bend Tribune


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