Officials: Henderson ‘will be missed’

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 9, 2016

Dejerilyn King Henderson

Dejerilyn King Henderson speaks at a city council meeting. Friends and officials who worked with Henderson reflected on her loss on Thursday.

Whether it was as a teacher, a member of the U.S. Army reserve, or as a councilmember, Dejerilyn King Henderson lived to serve people.

She was not only active in her role as a councilmember, but also sought to shape Troy’s government and school system from inside and out.

Henderson, 59, passed away at her Montgomery Street home on Wednesday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

She was actively involved in several political organizations, including being a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of the board of directors for the National League of Cities (NLC).

“Councilmember Henderson was a dedicated local leader whose service knew no bound,” said NLC CEO Clarence Anthony. “In addition to her role as city leader, she served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and taught in the public school system for 33 years. On behalf of the greater National League of Cities community, I extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to Councilmember Henderson’s family and her many friends and constituents.

“She provided valuable leadership for cities and towns nationwide through her role on the NLC board of directors, and was a dear friend to the many city officials and staff who knew her. Her service to her community and beyond will not be forgotten, and we will miss her greatly.”

Pike County NAACP President Gwen Bean said that the chapter will miss Henderson’s involvement.

“She was a strong voice in our organization,” Bean said. “We’re postponing our general meeting until later in September in honor of her passing. She will be sorely missed.”

Mayor Jason Reeves ordered the flags to be lowered to half-staff Wednesday in her honor.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of Councilwoman Dejerilyn Henderson,” Reeves said. “She was very passionate and hard working. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.”

Her fellow councilmembers also weighed in on her loss.

“I was shocked to learn yesterday afternoon of Councilmember Henderson’s death, and certainly want to express my deepest sympathy to her family,” District 4 Councilman John Witherington said. “I pray God will provide peace and comfort in this time of bereavement. D.J. loved serving in city government and was very much involved in that process on a local, state and national level. She will be missed.”

“I was shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of my colleague DJ,” said District 3 Councilman Marcus Paramore. “She was very passionate in her beliefs, and I respected that passion. My family and I will continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers.”

“”It’s a sad situation for her family, and I feel for them at this time,” said District 2 Councilman Greg Meeks. “She worked very hard for what she believed in.”

Henderson was recently reelected to the city council for a second term.

Wanda Moultry, Henderson’s opponent in the race, offered her condolences to Henderson’s family.

“She represented District 5 to the best of her ability,” Moultry said. “We appreciate it, and we’re going to miss her.”

Charlie “Sarge” Dunn, longtime District 1 councilman, also expressed his condolences. “I have known the King family and the Henderson family for years,” he said. “I certainly appreciate what Jerry Henderson and Dejerilyn Henderson have done for the City of Troy and Pike County. My condolences and prayers go out to the family.”

Visitation for Henderson will be held Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and her funeral will be Monday at 2 p.m. Both will be held at Green Hills Funeral Home.