Published in the September 9, 2016 edition
Donna was born on May 13, 1928 in Eau Claire, Wis., one of three children of the late Leslie R. and Elmira (Bretz) Golder. She was raised and educated in Lewiston, Maine, where she graduated from Lewiston High School with the Class of 1945.
While continuing her education at Bates College, she met her future husband, Milton E. Henderson, while distilling alcohol in the science lab. Milton asked her out for a date, and even with other offers, Donna accepted. According to Milton, she was the prettiest girl on campus, and he was lucky to have gotten a date with her.
They were married in Lewiston in 1951 and she furthered her education by obtaining a master’s degree in Education from Boston University.
Donna and Milton lived in Foxborough for several years where Donna taught second grade in the public schools. They then moved to Melrose where she taught algebra and geometry before starting their family. Very quickly they had five children, all born within six years. She became a dedicated homemaker, providing the necessary care and loving support to her husband, and five children.
Donna was also very active locally with a variety of interests that centered on her love for learning. She was the past president of the American Association of University Women of Massachusetts. She helped organize AAUW events throughout the year, including her annual Evening at Boston Pops. Donna enjoyed attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra with her good friend Carolyn and later on with her husband. In Melrose, she was a member of the Great Books Book Club at Melrose Public Library, a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts and an active member at the First Baptist Church. With her constant desire to learn, she also took classes at the Harvard Extension School with her husband. Donna took piano lessons throughout her life due to her love of music.
She and Milton enjoyed time away at their farm in Maine and their summer holidays on Webb Lake. Above all else, she was a loving wife, devoted mother and caring grandmother. In her own words you were always welcome “the beds are always made up.”
She was the beloved wife of Dr. Milton E. Henderson with whom she shared 65 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of Susan Henderson Mangubat and her husband Tony of Kona, Hawaii, Albert G. Henderson of Melrose, Christine A. Winton Henderson of Salem, James L. Henderson and his wife Samantha of Jackson, Mich. and Elizabeth A. Henderson-Cartledge and her husband David of Malden. She was the cherished grandmother of Alindrina Hoak and her husband Mike, Alexander, Alicia, Eleazar, Elizabeth, Milton, Luke, Cash, Sophia, Alasdair, Oliver and David.
She really enjoyed being an “Auntie” to J.B., Bunty, and Bobby and good friends with Claire.
Special thanks to Mary and Elizabeth for all their care.
Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Donna’s life at the First Baptist Church, 561 Main St., Melrose for her funeral service celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 10, at a time to be announced.
For online tribute, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.