Robert James Henderson (Bob) passed away at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center on December 11, 2017 at the age of 84. Bob suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on December 9 while happily doing his chores at home and never regained consciousness. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his wife and children who shared their love with him and prayed over him until he left us for his Eternal Father.
Bob is predeceased by his wife of 53 years Ellen, his son Robert James (RJ) and his son Howard James (Howie).
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 9 years Jan Friedlund, his daughter Amy and her husband Kevin Barko, son John Henderson and his wife Shelly, daughter Sarah and her husband Frank Halcromb, and step-son Torgun Lovely and his wife Kathy.
Bob is also survived by and known as the best grandpa in the world to grandchildren Patrick Barko and his wife Jaya, Robert (Bobby) Barko and his wife Auriel and great granddaughter Mila, Katelyn Barko Schwartz and her husband Sean and great grandson Lincoln, Garnet Henderson, Adelaide (Addie) Henderson, Curtis Henderson, and step-grandchildren Hannah and Mathias Lovely.
Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1933, and lived in Port Huron. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1958 and went on to practice litigation for 38 years, the last 10 years of which he was the managing partner of his firm. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial lawyers, which is by invitation only and limited to the top 1% of trial lawyers in the nation. He is also a Life Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and a Life Member of the YMCA. After retiring from practicing law, Bob founded RJH Consulting and consulted with over 300 small and boutique law firms nationwide. More recently, Bob and Jan entered into a partnership with Scott Solkoff to found the Elder Law College, which is now one of the nation’s premier institutions for lawyers who wish to become proficient in Elder and Special Needs Law.
Bob and Ellen welcomed many relatives and friends into their home, whether temporarily or long-term, to live with their large family – loving and helping always. The house on Edison Boulevard in Port Huron was always the center of the activities and mischief for the friends of his children.
Bob served God at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Huron, Michigan. He was president of Kiwanis, and also very active at The YMCA in Port Huron where he ran daily, played handball and served in many administrative and leadership capacities including fund raising and running summer camps and ski trips, taking charge of hundreds of impressionable youth.
He enjoyed physical activity after discovering distance running in law school, but after taking up snow skiing at the age of 34, it became his passion and a central part of many fun family vacations. Traveling was also a passion of Bob’s; while raising his family of five, he took them on adventures all over the United States and Canada. Whether it was camping and sight-seeing or chasing the best skiing, the adventures were always filled with laughter, rambunctiousness and loud debate as only a lawyer’s family can do!
Bob brought his family to Jackson Hole for the first time in 1972 while on a 6-month journey throughout the west. They all returned to ski in 1976, and were hooked. Bob subsequently bought several businesses at the Village, including Teton Video, the Bear Claw Café, Ice Cream Junction (ICJ) and the ski lockers in the Village Center Building. He relocated permanently to Jackson in 1999 and was frequently on the 100+ days season passholder list.
He became an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, serving in numerous leadership, men’s fellowship, and lay-ministry roles over the past 15 years.
To his family, many friends, co-workers, and clients, he was a mentor, an advisor, and offered rare un-conditional love.
The funeral service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on January 6, 2018 at 11:00am, followed by a reception in Hansen Hall where your memories of Bob can be shared.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice or St. John’s Episcopal Church.