Obituary of Birdell Henderson
Birdell Henderson was born September 5, 1923 to Verge Henderson and Bertha Wiley in Linden Island, Arkansas. He accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Penjur, Arkansas. Birdell attended Penjur School through the 8th grade and worked as a farmer. On February 26, 1943 he was drafted into the Army and entered basic training at Camp Rucker, Alabama in March, and was later stationed at Camp Gorden, Georgia. Birdell was deployed in 1944 to England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and then in 1945 to France and Germany. His battles and campaigns include Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe.
His decorations and citations included five Bronze Service Stars; Normandy, Northern France Ardennes, Rhineland and central Europe campaigns; and two Good Conduct Metals. In 1952 while being in Co H 8th Infantry Regiment, he and his peers were recognized for winning the heavy machinegun competition. In 1962 he received “The 2nd Infantry Brigade Commander Award” while with Company C 1st Battle Group, 4th Infantry and in 1963 “The Army Commendation Medal” for Meritorious Service.
In 1949 he met the love of his life, Barbara Schneider of Hammelburg, Germany. They were married in Neptune, N.J. on September 24, 1955. In 1957 Birdell reenlisted and then served in Korea in 1958. He received his final honorable discharge April 1, 1963. Birdell and his wife Barbara lived in Asbury Park, N.J. until 1969, and then moved to Farmingdale, N.J.
After the military he attended a 16-week course under the Federal Manpower Development Training Act for vocational school machine shop in Holmdel N.J. and received his diploma. He was employed by Lockheed Martin and then FEL in Farmingdale, N.J. from 1964 to 1986 where he worked as a mechanical assembly group leader, shop manager and blueprint instructor. After retirement, Birdell enjoyed his home, traveling, gardening, building things, cooking, collecting stamps and doing leather craft. He won several 1st place ribbons in the Monmouth County Fair year after year. His accomplishments and achievements reach far beyond what’s written here.
During his service, his highest rank was SSG E6, Co C 1st Bn 2nd Inf. He also served as an MP, Squad Leader 356, Security Battalion, Quartermaster Service Battalion, Range Foreman, 2nd Armed Calvary and 3rd Armed Calvary.
Birdell Henderson departed this life on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Barbara, on April 30, 2017; his father, Verge Henderson; mother, Bertha Wiley; sisters, Merriel Cross, Ardelia Tyms, Veola Ford, and Alberta McGruder; brothers, Henry Lee Henderson, Willie Lee Henderson, Verge Henderson, Jr., and Alfred Henderson.
His memory will be forever cherished by his daughter, Recynthia Henderson Jones of Clarksburg, NJ; great and great - great nieces, Permemphya Coleman and Chelsea Coleman of Mount Laurel, N.J; the Henderson, Wiley and Tyms families of Memphis, Tennessee, Buffalo, New York, Arkansas, Texas and Illinois; the Faust, Mader, Göbl, Graeber, Grimm, Schlesag, and Schneider families of Germany; and the Schmidl Family of Georgia; very special friends, Gary Davis and Bruce Zolnowski; the community of Farmingdale; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Monday, July 9, 2018 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Interment will be held on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. For information, directions, or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com.
Special Thanks To:
The Farmingdale community, especially manager John and staff at the Shopping Bag; the post office, Jack and staff; Bank of America manager, John Doherty; By All Means Travel, Chris, Dee, John Cerchia, and Joseph Sanfilippo; Barg’s Lawn & Garden, Bob and his wife; neighbors; Farmingdale First Aid; and Howell Police Dept.
Sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to those who treated my father with warmth, dignity and respect:
Dr. Shade and staff, Dr. Sternberg, Dr. Sandler, Dr. Stein, Dr. Miskin, Dr. Prokurat, Dr. Noyan, Dr. Rosenthal, Dr. Deluca, Julie Grano RN, BSN, and home health aide, Sharon.