John Henderson

John Kent Henderson

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John Kent Henderson passed away Monday, 6 July 2020, at home. At his bedside were his wife of 33 years, Mary Klein Henderson, and close family members who gathered from Mississippi, Colorado, and Austin. Love mixed with silent tears filled the room as he took his last breath. A lifelong Methodist, John is now at peace in Heaven.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, 22 November 1950 (he always used military time and dates), John grew up in Carthage, Mississippi. He graduated from Carthage High School and attained his first B.S. degree from the University of Mississippi, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. After graduation, with probable military draft approaching, John enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was accepted for Officer Candidate School and was of course successful. After his three-year tour of duty here in the U.S. he enrolled at Mississippi State University and graduated with a second B.S., in Petroleum Engineering.

Most of John’s career was spent with Conoco. He loved the challenge of a new project, and worked easily with many cultures who soon learned to respect and love him. He enjoyed teaching and mentoring, and enhanced many lives. He retired with 32 years of service all over the world, including Scotland, Ireland, England, Norway, West Africa, Russia, Angola, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and Singapore, and Kazakstan.
John’s retirement gift to himself was a beautiful Beretta shotgun, and he enjoyed the competition and companionship of shooting sporting clays and quail hunting. He also pursued his dream of hunting big game in Africa. In typical manner, he took all of the Dangerous Seven animals in five trips to South Africa and Zambia. All seven (leopard, lion, elephant, hippo, crocodile, cape buffalo, rhino) were trophy winners (the rhino was taken in a “green hunt,” using a tranquilizer dart). John also loved hunting deer, turkey and quail. He was a “man’s man,” and a Southern gentleman.

But John’s lifelong love was his farm in Mississippi. It was always on his mind no matter how far away he was, and he made many improvements throughout the years. His ashes will be spread there, according to his wishes.

John was predeceased by his parents, John H. and Dorothy Chipley Henderson, and his brother, Steven Chipley Henderson. He is survived by his wife Mary, step son Brian Jepson, daughter in law Courtney Jepson and grandsons Jack and Wyatt Jepson; Step son Jeremy Jepson, daughter- in-law Stacey Jepson, grandson Drew Jepson, and granddaughter Courtney Longfellow.

Because of the COVID19 pandemic, memorial services will be held in Texas and Mississippi when it is safe to gather.

In lieu of customary remembrances the family requests contributions be directed to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 or the Gary Sinise Foundation, P.O. Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA 91365.
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Mike Khayat

Posted at 12:36am
John and I where in the same pledge class at Ole Miss. He was a true gentleman throughout the four years I knew him on campus and as a Sigma Nu. After graduation I lost track of John. I am happy to read that he lived a most fruitful life. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, his family, in this time of loss.

May the Light of the World grant him eternal peace.

Mike Khayat

Barry Hexton

Posted at 07:53pm
Rest in Peace, John. I am very glad I had the opportunity to both work for and with John at different times over many Conoco years. We joined Conoco around the same time in 1980, in fact we shared a Greenway Plaza office in 1980 and I only discovered it was ‘shared’ when one day I came in from off-days and discovered a stranger (John) sitting behind the desk (I found another empty office). Over time we worked together in England, I followed in his footsteps in Angola, we worked in Singapore, and during Polar Lights years in Russia. In a work sense, whenever I hear the term “hard but fair” I think of John – he expected a lot, not always easy to work for, but he had high standards and after working with him you always came away with a respect for what he was trying to accomplish. Yes, gentleman is a good description for John.
I will always remember the graciousness Mary and John showed me in Moscow one weekend when they invited me to stay with them, I still remember watching all the episodes of Lonesome Dove on VCR with them, and taking me to one of the Moscow flea markets. Many small but important gestures that made me feel at home.
Mary, I hope you are holding up as well as can be expected in your time of loss, you lost a good man that will be remembered.

Wayne Sanders

Posted at 06:04pm
While John and I both worked for Conoco since the early 1980’s, our paths did not cross much until about 10 years ago. I like many had heard about John well before our friendship began. In the last 10 years we, and our families, have become close friends. We enjoyed many outings, from a trip to Napa Valley, numerous sporting clays events, and sharing his love for quail hunting. You only had to meet John once, and you knew John, he did not change from day-to-day. He gave 100% at everything he did and expected the same of you. His go to line during shooting was to bring the fight to them, and he did. I am better off knowing John and look forward to seeing him again.

Steve Actis

Posted at 06:45pm
It was a great pleasure to meet Mary and John in New Orleans. We have many wonderful memories of that chapter in our lives.
John's passing is sad, but reminds us of what a gentleman he was. John was most gracious and helpful when I joined Conoco after we had already crossed trails in Egypt. Mary and Teresa hit it off as well and continued to keep in touch over the years. Mary, we are sorry for your loss and hope that you and your family find the strength during this difficult time.

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