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Reverend remembered with love


Jenny Henson with her four young children [left to right] Stuart, Julie, Kirsty, and Geoffrey. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Jenny Henson 15/07/1943 – 19/06/2020

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Jenny Henson, killed in a car crash in Carterton in June, will be remembered for her love for and generosity towards others.

Jenny was born in Palmerston North Hospital on July 15, 1943 and her early years were in Upper Hutt.

Jenny’s parents, Leonie [Nola] and Harold Saunders came to Wairarapa when she was a teenager and she went to Wairarapa College.

Jenny married John Douglas Henson.

He farmed at Tinui and then ran a sheep shearing business – the Golden Shears John Henson Memorial Trophy, named after him, is for best quality points in the open final.

They had four children: Stuart, Julie, Geoffrey, and Kirsty.

But John died, aged 32, when the children were at primary school.

Geoff, left, and Stuart, right, with their mother in later life.

Jenny went on to dedicate her life to her children and spent her entire working life nursing in various capacities.

She was a nurse tutor at Wairarapa Hospital and then a practice nurse at Carterton Medical Centre for 15 years.

In addition, she was committed to the Anglican faith and was ordained as a deacon in 1997.

Her work at St Mark’s Church included baptisms, marrying couples, and holding funeral services.

She took communion to Roseneath Lifecare rest home residents.

Her youngest daughter Kirsty said she touched many people in her life with love; she filled her days with love.

Her daughter said she didn’t sit at her desk and “manage things”, she got involved – she got to know people and “she got on with it”.

While Jenny was known in Carterton public life, she also loved singing and was a founding member of the Wairarapa Singers for whom she sang soprano.

Her home life revolved around creating her garden and she was known to have a green thumb.

When she organised the build of her new Carterton home, moving from the larger family home, she got busy potting seedlings up and preparing cuttings to take with her.

By the time the new central Carterton home was ready, her new garden was ready to go too.

In two years, the garden she had planned and planted was established.

In later retirement years, Jenny took up Pilates at Gain Momentum.

She went a couple of times a week to keep healthy and mobile.

After the sessions, she often went for coffee with a group of Carterton women.

She was on her way to Pilates when she was in the car crash that took her life. She was 76.

Her children of course never ever imagined she would die this way.

Being fit, healthy, and “very busy”, they thought she would live to an old age.

But they say the outpouring of love had been encouraging and inspiring and they were very proud to have her as their mum and proud she was so involved in Carterton.

Her children and many people in the Wairarapa community remember Jenny as a woman with love to give and a full life to live.

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