Randy Rayford Henderson

Randy Rayford Henderson

Submitted by his wife

Randy died May 13‚ 2004 on a lightning strike fire in Florida. He was the Assistant Fire Management Officer for the Bienville Ranger District in Forest‚ Mississippi. He loved the outdoors‚ and loved working in fire. He went on his first fire 24 years ago‚ he hated leaving his family but loved putting out fire. He was a Helicopter Boss‚ Squad Boss‚ was on the Southern Area Red Team and the list goes on. He kept the Bienville ‘Firedogs’ in line. A job he said was a 24 hour a day job. The ‘Firedogs’ escorted him home and then laid him to rest on May 18‚ 2004.

There were only two things Randy loved more than he loved putting out fire. Randy loved his Savior and Randy loved his family. Randy was a member of Lorena Baptist Church. He was the music director and assistant Sunday school director at the time of his death. He grew up at Lorena Baptist and served in many positions over the years. The youth were always important to him‚ and he and his wife Patsy served on the youth committee for years. Randy loved to sing and would sing solos at church and duets with his daughters. He would also ‘surprise’ Patsy when she was playing the offertory by singing along. The church misses him greatly‚ though his family is still very active in church. Randy always believed in taking your children to church not sending them. He would take off work to help out during VBS. He would lead the music‚ drive the bus‚ help with the crafts and help feed the children during lunch. He and the girls were responsible for the up keep of the cemetery. He thought it was disrespectful for the cemetery to be unkept.

Randy and Patsy had recently celebrated their twenty-fourth anniversary. Randy and Patsy were always together. Whether checking fire lines‚ or changing oil in the truck. Someone ask Randy at his 15 year High School reunion what his most memorable moment was in school. He said when he met his wife! They have two daughters Natalie (Nicky) age 20‚ and Stacy age 15. If you ask Randy a question and he didn’t know the answer‚ he would look it up. He wouldn’t make up an answer. Randy always told our girls to look up the answers to their questions‚ they would remember the answers longer. He always encouraged the girls to do their best‚ he was very proud of both of his girls. Randy had a great sense of humor. He said you had to have a sense of humor to live with three females or you would go crazy. He scared Nicky’s boyfriend when he asked to marry her. She had just bought her wedding dress when Randy died. Randy always encouraged Stacy in her poetry. Her first published poems are about her dad in heaven.

Randy was Assistant Fire Chief‚ Training officer and firefighter at the Homewood Volunteer Fire Department. He was proud of the department he had worked so hard to help get on its feet. He believed a fire department was important especially to rural communities. The fire department served as honorary pallbearers. At the end of the service they gave the Homewood signal and the final call for Randy. The department later presented the family with a plague and his tag and retired his number.

Randy was survived by his wife‚ Patsy; daughters‚ Stacy Henderson‚ and Natalie Webb. His mother‚ Bobbie Nell Henderson‚ brother‚ Lambert Henderson and family; sister‚ Wanda Henderson and family. All live in Lorena‚ Mississippi. Natalie’s husband Michael is currently serving in Afghanistan.