Former longtime coroner dies, services set Tuesday

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, March 4, 2012

     Funeral services are set for former Lincoln County Coroner Willie Morris Henderson, of Union Church.

     Henderson, 85, died March 2, 2012, at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Collins.

     Henderson served as coroner of Lincoln County for many years before retiring in the middle of his term in 2002. Then Deputy Coroner Clay McMorris was appointed by the board of supervisors to fill the remainder of Henderson’s term.

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     “In 1995 I had the opportunity to work under Morris as a deputy coroner,” said McMorris, who has served as Lincoln County Coroner since 2002. “I watched him work with families and witnessed firsthand how he ministered to those families in their time of grief. I also witnessed him being a professional coroner and death investigator, and was glad to have worked and trained under his leadership.”

     Services for Henderson are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at First Baptist Church of Brookhaven, with burial in Easthaven Cemetery. Riverwood Family Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.

     Visitation is Monday from 5 until 9 p.m. at the funeral home and Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the church.

     Henderson was born in Alabama on May 26, 1926, to Benjamin L. and Theodosia Daniels Henderson.

     He was a member of First Baptist Church of Brookhaven from 1956 to 2002 and a member of Union Church Baptist Church from 2002 to 2012. He was a funeral director, coroner, medical examiner and position holder at Hartman-Henderson Funeral Home. He was the Deputy Sheriff of Lincoln County for 30 years and president of Hartman-Henderson for 40 years. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars for 30 years, American Legion for 30 years, Kiwanis Club for 30 years, Lincoln County Civil Defense for 20 years, National Funeral Directors Association for 30 years, National Directory of Morticians for 30 years, Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association for 20 years, Brookhaven/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce for 30 years, chairman of American Red Cross Disaster Association for 20 years and colonel of Governor’s Staff for three years. Henderson served in the 44th Infantry of the U.S. Army during World War II.

     Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, Elizabeth A. Henderson; daughter, Alicia Henderson Woody; brother, W.O. Henderson; and sister, Louise Henderson McCall.

     Survivors are his wife, Helen Jordan May Henderson; daughter, Mitzie Elizabeth Henderson Stewart; five stepchildren; one grandchild, Benjamin Shane Stewart and wife, Lorie; one great-granddaughter, Whitney Elizabeth Stewart; 16 step-grandchildren; 17 step-great-grandchildren; and a friend closer than a brother, James F. “Jack” Robinson and family.

     To express your thoughts to the family, you may visit and click on his name to leave a comment.