April 9, 1926 - July 25, 2023
August 3, 2023
Joe Henderson, a lifelong Colfax resident and business owner, proud member of the Plymouth Congregational Church, and beloved brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away July 25, 2023. He was 97 years old. A public viewing will be held on Sunday, July 30, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. A memorial service will take place Monday, July 31, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Colfax.
Joe was born April 9, 1926, in Omak, Washington, to parents Roscoe and Ruth Henderson. Two weeks later, the Colfax natives returned home, where Joe and brothers Don and Mike, and sister Pat, grew up.
After graduating from Hamilton High School in Colfax, Joe answered Uncle Sam’s call and joined the U.S. Army in September 1944. He was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, 34th Regiment, 3rd Battalion and served as a medic in the Philippines during World War II. Joe returned to Fort Lewis in 1946, having received the Bronze Star for his heroism and two Purple Hearts from injuries sustained in war. Joe joined the Army Reserves before returning home to Colfax where he reconnected with a classmate.
Her name was Jacqueline “Jackie” Bloom McEwen. She was a teller at the bank where he found himself visiting quite often. Phone calls and dating led to marriage on February 21, 1947. A year later, Philip was born. Uncle Sam called again, and in 1950, Joe, Jackie, and their young son moved to Fort Lewis. Joe served there during the Korean War, working at Madigan Army Medical Center and playing on the base’s championship softball team. After Joe was discharged, the family returned to Colfax – and grew.
Daughter Jolynn was born in 1951. The young family made their home in Colfax for ten years before moving to their current home on Prune Orchard Road, where Joe lived until his death.
Joe, with the help of his wife Jackie and two partners, built a successful career selling John Deere and Caterpillar farm equipment at Arrow Machinery. He was active in the Colfax community, including the Chamber of Commerce, volunteer fire department, Plymouth Congregational Church, and local softball league. Joe was a lifelong sports fan and athlete and was inducted in the Inland Northwest Softball Hall of Fame in 1984.
Joe, Jackie, and their circle of friends enjoyed life together, through vacations, sporting events, and their growing families. After retiring in 1983, Joe began golfing, and eventually traded in his clubs for coffee cups, enjoying morning coffee with a circle of friends at the golf course shortly before his death. Joe was most proud of his family that he and his wife created, nurtured, and watched grow – the result of a strong partnership in every sense. Jackie died in 2017, ten days after celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
In addition to his wife Jackie, Joe’s brothers Donald and Michael Henderson preceded him in death. Joe is survived by sister Pat Bailey, his son Phil (Barbara) Henderson of Colfax, daughter Jolynn (Mike) Duncan of Hayden Lake, Idaho, grandson Destry (Jodi) Henderson, granddaughters Chappell (Cory) Henderson Smith, Heather, (Michael) Duncan Lehman, and Holly (Jesse) Duncan Abeel, and great grandchildren Eleanor Henderson, Logan and Chace Smith, Elias Lehman, and Hudson and Judah Abeel.
The family suggests memorial gifts be made to the Plymouth Congregational Church in Colfax or the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Spokane. Joe was a Shriner for many years. In celebration of Joe’s love for sports, the family welcomes you to wear crimson and gray or your favorite team colors.