James “Jim” Arthur Henderson passed away on November 4, 2018 from a broken heart and a second major stroke. He was born February 4, 1930 in Sidney, Montana to Arthur Henderson and Jessie (Thomas) Henderson, the youngest of 6, including brothers, Ralph, Willie, Sherrill, Raymond and sister, Irene.
Jim attended school in Fairview and married his high school sweetheart, Eileen Davidsen in 1948. Together they had 4 children, Tom, Carol, Marilyn and Cindy.
The family moved west to Miles City, Laurel and Bozeman. Jim later transferred to Helena.
Growing up, Jim enjoyed farming, owning a service station, semi-truck driving, and as a super salesman. He sold everything including cars and trucks to windows and doors. That special charm and smile of his helped his success in all facets of life.
As fate would have it, Jim was attending the 1st Helena Stampede in 1961 and was unfortunately trampled by a horse coming through the fence. He was taken to St Peter’s Hospital for treatment and recovery. He met a lovely nurse’s aide by the name of Johanna “Hanna” Ludwig who took great care of him. They enjoyed each other’s company and after his release they continued along the path into a long term relationship. On March 31st, 1962 Jim and Hanna were married and enjoyed 56 years together until Hanna’s passing on October 3, 2018.
Throughout the years and through their occupations, Jim and Hanna lived in Helena, Anaconda, Opportunity and then back to Helena. Wherever they lived, they enjoyed producing phenomenal vegetable gardens and shared with family and friends. You would always find an impeccable yard and in summertime, there were always beautiful flowers everywhere. They enjoyed entertaining and feasting on Jim’s extraordinary skills with the barbeque and Hanna’s special touch with all the extras such as her german spaetzle, salads, desserts – you name it – it was always a special treat for everyone!
Jim and Hanna loved the outdoors enjoying several activities such as boating, water skiing, fishing, snowmobiling (Jim served as President of the Montana Snowmobile Association) taking he and Hanna on many adventurous winter trails, including Yellowstone Park, Island Park, Georgetown Lake and the Big Hole River area. There was even a wonderful summer cabin at Gates of the Mountains for all to enjoy that was only accessible by boat.
Travel was always a highlight whether by air, cruise ship or automobile to many different places, always making new friends along the way. Enjoying a nice meal out with family and friends was always a special treat. Gathering for the holidays with family was always very special to them. At times Dad and Hanna packed their home with many kids and grandkids. Sometimes a tight fit, but it always worked.
Jim and Hanna have been best friends, always taking great care of each other throughout their life together. Jim had a major stroke in July of 2015 which left him paralyzed on one side and mostly unable to speak. Everyone was always greeted with a huge smile. He spent the last 3 plus years in assisted living with Hanna visiting him almost every day making sure he had the best care possible. Hanna had been diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and the disease took a toll on her independence. She decided to move in with Jim at Bee Hive Homes in May of this year so they could be together.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Hanna, his parents, brothers, sister and granddaughter, Sheila Henderson.
He is survived by his 4 children, Tom (Ronna) Henderson, Carol (Gary) Reed, Marilyn (Dave) Bos and Cindy (Rick) Lindenberg all of Bozeman; 9 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren. There are also numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A special thank you goes to Jamie Hopkins and the entire loving staff of House #13 Bee Hive Homes. They all provided such great loving care to both Jim and Hanna during their stay at Bee Hive. The family would also like to thank Mickie, Karissa, Patricia and others of St. Peters Health Hospice for their dedicated compassion and comfort to both Jim and Hanna.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life service to honor both Jim and Hanna will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. in Helena. A reception will follow in the social hall of the funeral home. Jim and Hanna will be laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Helena at a later date. Memorials in honor of Jim and Hanna are suggested to Hospice of St. Peter’s Health c/o St. Peter’s Health, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601 or to a foundation of your choosing that helps animals.
Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Jim and Hanna.