Mary Eleanor Reynolds Henderson | Mar 31, 1934 – Feb 15, 2020 | OBITUARY

Mary Eleanor Reynolds Henderson
Winter Haven, Florida
Mar 31, 1934 – Feb 15, 2020


Mary Eleanor Reynolds Henderson, 85, of Winter Haven, passed peacefully into eternal life February 15, 2020. “Ellie” was a lovely southern lady, strongly devoted to her Christian Faith, family and friends. She was born March 31, 1934, to Erma Shoop Reynolds and Bob Taylor Reynolds in Winter Haven, Florida. Ellie and her brother, Gordon Reynolds, spent an idyllic childhood growing up with their parents in the beauty and freedom of the citrus groves in Lake Alfred.

She graduated from Winter Haven High School in 1952 and Mary Baldwin College for Women in 1956, where she was blessed to have formed tight knit, lifelong bonds of friendship and sisterhood with a group of girls known affectionately as “the squirrels”.

Following graduation, Eleanor Reynolds married Frederick John Henderson, a recent Yale graduate and Navel Officer, beginning their married life stationed in New Jersey. Upon the death of Fred’s father, the couple returned to Winter Haven to run the family citrus business. They were blessed with four children.

Eleanor held many varied interests and was active in her church and community. She was a member of Hope Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon and was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the Presbyterian Women for her many years of service. She served in the PEO sisterhood for 64 years, the Garden Club of Winter Haven and was a long-time member of Lake Region Yacht and Country Club. Travel was one of Ellie’s great pleasures, along with wonderful times spent on Little Gasparilla Island with family and friends. She was proud of her citrus heritage and assumed the responsibility for management of the family citrus business following the death of her husband, Fred, in 1993. She remained manager until her retirement at the age of 79.

Eleanor was predeceased by her parents and brother. She is survived by her children and grandchildren; Fred and Georgene Henderson, Taylor and Mary Martha; Clay and Tammy Henderson, John and Emily; Jane and Bob Brunton; Steve and Becca Henderson, Tyler, Blake and Haley; a South African exchange student, who became like family, along with his wife and children, Wolfgang and Birgit Edmayr, Bill, Mark, and Alexandra. She is also survived by her sister in law, Marylyn Reynolds and many nieces, nephews, cousins and precious friends, whom she held so dear.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful, dedicated caregivers and friends who tended to Ellie in such a loving and compassionate way during her long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Disease. Remembrances may be made to Mayo Clinic through, or Good Shepherd Hospice. Memorial Services will be held at Hope Presbyterian Church on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM, with a reception following.