Dennis “Denny” Duane Henderson passed away March 31, 2023 at his home in Otto Township, rural Ottertail, Minn. He was surrounded by family and passed into the Lord’s care around 8 a.m.
Dennis was born December 1, 1947 in Wadena, Minn. to Orlando “Orrie” and Helen (Barker) Henderson. He grew up on the family farm in Inman Township, rural Henning, Minn. He attended country school at District 113 in Inman Township and graduated from Henning High School in 1965.
After graduation, Denny continued his education at Staples Area Technical Institute for a Tool and Die Maker course. He utilized his new skills at Honeywell in Minneapolis, Minn. after he completed his coursework.
Denny met a fellow farm kid, Lynnette Marie Menze of rural Ottertail, and they were soon engaged on her 19th birthday and married on her 20th birthday, September 5, 1970. Their first son, Troy Shane, was born in 1971. They moved to Parkers Prairie where Denny worked for Bellanca Aircraft out of Alexandria. A daughter, Denise Lynae, was born in 1975 but passed away at only two hours old.
In 1977, Denny and Lynnette purchased Lynn’s parents’ former roller rink and remodelled the log structure into a home and have lived there ever since. Two sons, Derek Orlin and Wyatt John, were born in 1981 and 1984, respectively.
A career in manufacturing returned Denny to his roots in Staples, Minn. when he started working as a Machinist and Tool and Die Maker for 3M in November of 1974 as well as serving a number of years as Plant Supervisor. He worked at 3M for over 30 years before retiring in 2008. Never being able to stay idle too long, Denny started a retirement job at Walmart in Detroit Lakes in May of 2009 and worked until Lynn’s death in 2021.
A great passion in Denny’s life was spending time outdoors as he enjoyed the solitude of nature. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, and trapper. Shooting mallards in the Inman Swamp, fishing on Rush Lake, and tending to his bountiful gardens were some of the greatest pleasures for Denny.
Denny was raised with a .410 shotgun and all the acreage a young boy could dream of to go hunting and practice his aim. In later years, he shot in competitive trapshooting. He made sure to pass along his love for shooting, nature, and wildlife to his three sons and five grandchildren. Everywhere he went, he would tell stories of his many hunts as well as those of his father, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers.
A fan of everything outdoors, Denny was a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association and was nominated to the NRA Legion of Honor in 1996. He was also a life member of the North American Hunting Club. Denny served as a 4-H leader for the Otto Otters alongside Lynnette for 40 years as well as serving as an elder at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills.
Denny’s faith in Christ was first kindled when his aunt Eva would take him and his siblings to the First Baptist Church of Henning in his youth. After he was married, Denny was baptised and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Parkers Prairie on December 17, 1972. In later years, Denny belonged to St. John’s Lutheran Church of Ottertail and Trinity Lutheran Church of New York Mills.
Denny was able to return home on hospice on March 23 and enjoyed two happy days surrounded by family and friends. Julie Reitmeyer and Roxann Rehm selflessly donated their time and talent to taking care of him in his final days. Pastor Karl Weber made numerous visits to pray during the week and Denny affirmed his faith with his final communion at home. He will be and already is sorely missed by all who knew him.
Preceding Dennis in death are his parents, Orrie and Helen Henderson; wife, Lynnette; siblings, Earl, Ila, Alta, Wesley, Dale, Keith, and David Henderson; daughter, Denise Henderson; and daughter-in-law, Jessica Henderson.
Surviving Dennis are his siblings, Iris (Jim) Natoli of Cowpens, SC, Lou (LaVerne) Kalor of Ridgeway, MO, and Judy (Dick) Tischler of Cambridge, Minn.; sons, Troy (Lisa) Henderson of Perham, Minn., Derek Henderson of Seattle, WA, and Wyatt Henderson of Fargo, ND; grandchildren, Jasmine, Tanner, Tucker, Shiloh, and Tait Henderson; and one great-grandchild, Camillia “Millie” Henderson. A large host of friends and relatives join the survivors in their grief.
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