Charles F.C. Henderson ’37, a life-long teacher and decorated World War II veteran, died on August 9, 2009, at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, three days after a serious fall at home.
Born in Cam- bridge, Mass., on September 21, l914, he prepared for college at Omaha Central High School in Nebraska; Classical High School in Lynn, Mass., and Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. After Bowdoin, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity, he attended Weimar- Jena College in Weimar, Germany, for two years, then earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University in l947. He was also a graduate of the Army Strategic Intelligence School in l951 and of the Army Command and General Staff College in 1965. When he was drafted in 1942, the Army imme- diately saw the value of his fluency in French and German and tapped him as an intelligence officer for interpreting and interrogating. He served with V Corps, landing at Normandy on D-Day, and with XVIII Airborne Corps during the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1946 to the Army Reserve, where he taught in U.S. Army Intelligence Schools from 1946 to 1969. He commanded the 420th Strategic Intelligence and Research Team from 1949 until it was disbanded in 1956, and the First U.S. Army Area Intelligence School at Fort Meade, Md. Having attained the rank of colonel, he received a Meritorious Service Medal upon his retirement in 1969. His book, “Half-Century of Turmoil: 1900-1950,” was published in 1958. In his civilian life, he taught languages at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., and at Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., before teaching in the Newton (Mass.) junior and senior high schools from 1946 to 1979. Retirement from teaching and the military simply left him more time to teach and serve in other venues. He served on the board of directors of Elder- hostel, Inc. for six years and as a teacher of numerous Elderhostel courses, special- izing in poets of the 20th century. He taught poetry courses for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Wellesley and for 10 years led the Poetry Pundits, a poetry discussion group at the Needham Public Library. He was a trustee of the library for 15 years and with his wife established the Henderson Trust Fund to benefit the library for generations to come. He was a member of the Need- ham Retired Men’s Club, and served as president of the Friends of the Needham Elderly for four years, as a tax counselor for the elderly for several years and was a member of the Building Committee for the Hillside School. He also wrote content for KnowledgeQuest computer games with the titles of Literature, World Geography, and The States of the United States. He remained physically active into his late 80s, cross-country skiing, scull- ing, and gardening. He is survived by two daughters, Anne Henderson and Patricia Henderson Sauer; and three grandchil- dren. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Marnie (Wilde) Henderson, in 2000.