Death of Banks mayor felt in county

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

The death of Banks Mayor Larry Henderson is being mourned by the community he led, the hospital where he worked and the many friends he had throughout the county.

Henderson died Monday morning in a Dothan hospital while recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident on May 24.

Naomi Green, Banks town clerk, said the entire Banks community is in shock.

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"We knew that Larry's injuries were very serious, but we understood that he was getting a little better every day," she said. "No one had any idea anything like this could happen. We are shocked and deeply saddened."

Green called the Banks mayor "a good guy."

"If Larry told you something, you could depend on it," she said. "He was always doing something for somebody and for the Banks community. He was dedicated to making our town a better place and he worked hard to make it happen. Larry was one of those people you want around. If you needed him, he was there. He will be greatly missed."

Another community that will be "lost with Larry Henderson" is Edge Regional Medical Center.

Henderson was the director of plant operations at Edge for more than 20 years. Jennifer Ventress, chief nursing officer, said there is no way to gauge what Henderson meant to the hospital.

"Larry has done everything around here forever," she said. "We'll be lost without him. Larry knew everything there was to know about this building, and on top of that, he was a wonderful person who was willing to help in any way. Everyone here is shocked. It's hard to believe. We are praying for his family.

"Larry loved his family dearly. He always talked about them with love and pride. He was a Christian person who believed in doing for others."

Although Henderson was never chairman of the hospital's Relay for Life team, he was very committed to the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

"Over the years, he helped the hospital raise more than $50,000 for Relay," Ventress said. "He was the person we depended on to make sure everything came together. He ran the hospital Relay tent and anyone who came by will remember Larry's steaks and shrimp."

Henderson was dedicated to his job at the hospital and a friend to everyone there.

"Larry will be missed more than words can say," Ventress said. "The hospital and the staff have incurred a great loss."

Henderson's death is being felt outside the Banks community and the Edge Regional Medical Center family.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford knew Henderson personally and professionally.

"Larry was a nice guy and everybody liked him," Lunsford said. "I have known Larry for a long time and I was honored to call him my friend."

In the political arena, Lunsford knew Henderson as a public servant and, as a member of ERMC's board of directors, he knew Henderson by his works.

"As mayor of Banks, Larry had a progressive attitude toward our working together as a county," Lunsford said. "He was willing to step forward in support of the economic development authority.

Banks was quick to come on board. His leadership and positive attitude was invaluable bringing about the authority."

Henderson was a valuable member of the hospital staff and Lunsford was aware of the contributions he made.

"He provided a great service to the hospital," Lunsford said. "He was hard working and willing to do anything that was asked of him. He was an all-around nice guy who did a lot of good in a lot of places. He had a lot of friends and he will be missed by many. I know I will miss him greatly."