Dorothy Lee Haberer Henderson was born at home in Uhland, Texas, on June 27, 1923, to parents William Max Haberer and Louise Marie Reidel Haberer. Dot enjoyed relating that she arrived before the doctor did. She lived a healthy, happy life until June 19, 2013, when she stepped into the shining light of eternity. She was baptized as an infant in the Uhland Lutheran Church; and after her marriage to James Morris Henderson, she was baptized in the Valley Spring Primitive Baptist Church.
During World War II, Dorothy was employed as a payroll clerk at the Camp Gary Air Base in San Marcos. She later accepted a position at the Internal Revenue Service offices in Austin, Texas, and it was through a co-worker there that she was introduced to Morris. They were married on July 25, 1947, a union that lasted until January 11, 2012 when Morris passed away.
Dot and Morris lived and worked for a brief time in Buda, Texas until their move to the family ranch in Llano County in 1948. The ranch was their life and their love, raising cattle, goats, vegetables and fruit trees. Dot was a true ranch wife, taking good care of her home, but also acting as a full partner in fence mending, feeding, planting, harvesting, canning, all the elements necessary to keep the animals and crops in good condition, through hard times and good.
James Morris Henderson Jr. was born on December 24, 1949, and a new door opened for Dot—a lifelong devotion to the child she so adored. Throughout his early years, she encouraged Jim to think of college as the logical next step after graduating from high school. It was one of her greatest joys to watch Jim graduate from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos in May, 1972. Jim remembers with a smile his mother driving through a heavy rain storm, determined to pick up his college ring on time.
With all her responsibilities, Dorothy somehow managed to hold down every office in the Llano Home Demonstration Club (except Chairman) for over 50 years. She turned down the Chairman position because it involved too much out of state travel. Her pantry and storm cellar were always filled with the latest crop of fruit and vegetables harvested off the ranch, canned and processed to perfection. She could whip up a delicious meal with only a moment’s notice and often prepared large meals for workers who would come to the ranch for special work days such as shearing goats and baling hay. She sewed most of her own clothes and many of Jim’s and Morris’s. She woke up singing each morning. As she lay in her hospital bed shortly before her death, a nurse said an aide would be coming in soon to give her a bath. Jim said, “Mom, wouldn’t you like that?” To which she replied, “After the song.”
In Proverbs 31, King Lemuel’s mother advises her son that a wife of noble character “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” This was the path Dorothy chose. She leaves behind the legacy of a life of humility and grace, laced with a smile.
Dorothy is survived by her son, Jim, his wife, Jean, one sister, Lavernia Eilers, four step children, seven step grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
A service in celebration of her life was held at the Waldrope Funeral Chapel in Llano, Texas on Monday, June 24, 2013. A reception followed at the Morris Henderson ranch in Llano.