Eugene O. Henderson ’51 died on December 27, 2017, in Fairfax, Virginia.
(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald, January 18, 2018:)
FAIRFAX, Va. – Eugene O’Brien “Gene” Henderson, 87, died peacefully on Dec. 27, 2017, at the Fairfax Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Gene had been a resident of the facility for over eleven years and was predeceased by his wife of over fifty-eight years, Martha Monroe Henderson, also a former resident of the Nursing Center who passed on November 9, 2016.
In their immediate family, Gene and Martha are survived by their son Ross McDougal Henderson of Falls Church, Va., son Eugene O’Brien Henderson Jr., daughter-in-law Patricia; and grandson Jack of Winchester, Mass.
Gene was born in Bingham on March 6, 1930. A talented student athlete, Gene attended Bingham High School before he received a scholarship and graduated from Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. After MCI, Gene matriculated at Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1947, where he majored in chemistry, minored in psychology, was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, and played varsity football, and varsity baseball. He graduated from Bowdoin in the spring of 1951.
In August of 1951 and during the midst of the Korean War, Gene was drafted by the US Army and was sent to Fort Dix, NJ Three months later, Gene was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency, which had been formed just four years prior. In February 1952, he was stationed in Germany to support the CIA’s efforts in the region and served in a variety of roles. He met his future wife, Martha, in Munich when both were working for the Agency in its earliest years.
By 1956, Gene had left the CIA to attend the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He and Martha were married in Palo Alto just before Gene earned his MBA degree. After graduation, Gene re-joined the United States’ Intelligence Services community with the US Army Chemical Corps Intelligence Agency, and he and Martha moved from California to Washington, DC, where the couple would raise their two sons and become active members of the community in Arlington, Va. Gene served on his church’s vestry and became a district commissioner for the National Capital Area Council of the Boys Scouts of America.
In November 1964, Gene joined the Defense Intelligence Agency in its fourth year of operation. He officially retired from the DIA on January 3, 2009. During his retirement ceremony at DIA’s headquarters on his seventy-ninth birthday, Gene was proclaimed a “national treasure” and was lauded for his many accomplishments in defense of the nation.
Along the way, Gene graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, RI, where he and the family were stationed in 1968-1969, and he earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Throughout his long career, Gene traveled extensively both domestically and internationally in support of the DIA’s mission, including a six-month deployment to Bahrain after the first Gulf War.
Gene and Martha were members of Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax for over forty years.