James Alexander Henderson

james  henderson

James Alexander Henderson


Jim Henderson passed away peacefully on June 4th at the age of 92.

Jim was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 5, 1922 to Alexander and Nina Henderson. He was one of two boys and greatly admired his older brother, Jack. Under Jack's wing, he grew to love sports and the outdoors.

A self-described lackluster student in elementary school, Jim suffered a serious bout of scarlet fever, which left him with the determination to become a physician. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin, where he met and fell in love with Marty Brand, his wife of 68 years. He then attended medical school at Wisconsin followed by a surgical residency at the University of Minnesota.

Jim served as a surgeon aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Korean War and then moved to Denver to establish a private practice as a surgeon.

He was a highly regarded  clinician, known for his knowledge, technical and diagnostic skills, integrity and collaborative ease at the operating table. For many years he was a clinical instructor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine  and served as the Chief of Surgery at Swedish Hospital. After retiring from his practice, he worked part time as a consultant for COPIC, a provider of professional liability insurance.

Jim gave of himself and his time in numerous ways, serving on various boards, aiding migrant farm workers, and volunteering in a civilian hospital in Da Nang during the Vietnam War.

Known by his friends as "Hendy", Jim had an infectious zest for life which stayed with him to the end. He had a great sense of fun, loved to share a humorous story, and relished a good laugh. He thoroughly enjoyed food and especially savored exposing his children and, in turn, his grandchildren, to something delicious. He also shared his love for the outdoors with his children, taking the family on memorable excursions into the wild.

He came to skiing as an adult, embraced it with enthusiasm and made sure that his children were given every opportunity to hit the slopes. Passing on his wonder of nature to the next generation, each of his 7 grandchildren was initiated into the experience of holding a hummingbird feeder in their lap to get a breathtakingly close view of the beautiful tiny creatures.

With a curious and encyclopedic mind, he was extremely knowledgable on an amazingly wide range of topics and instilled the value of learning at home.  Extended family members often sought him out for information, support, and advice.

He and Martha spent most of their retirement years at their beloved mountain home on Lake Creek. He would spend hours in the morning with a cup of coffee gazing up the valley and marveling at the beauty of New York Mountain.

He will be greatly missed, but his infectious love for life, support of family and friends, and big hearted nature will live on in his family and those who were lucky enough to know him.

Jim is survived by: wife Martha; daughter Nancy Henderson; son Thomas B. Henderson (Susan); daughter Judith Henderson (Robert H. Collier); daughter Susan H. Rothenberg (Steven); grandchildren Jessica A. Rothenberg, Karlie C. Andreas, Cathryn N. Rothenberg, L. Alex Henderson, Zachary A. Rothenberg, Madeleine H. Collier, and Ren C. Henderson.

A private family memorial will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations in honor of James A. Henderson may be made to The Alzheimer's Association or The Denver Hospice



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Memories Timeline


  1. Dr. Henderson (as I always addressed him) was a caring, thoughtful employer for the years from 1965 to 1974.  He was always kind and respectful to everyone and he continued contact and friendship with those who were fortunate to know him. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

  2. So sorry to see Dr Henderson,s notice in today's paper!  It was a great obit… He was a gem to all of us who met with him in his profession… Especially his HUMOR!  God bless you all and carry on his legacy…..love & care!!!   Frankie.  And hi to Jackie too!

  3. We are among the many grateful patients of Dr Jim.  Our parents Ivan and Irene Stark were among his first patients here in Denver and as our family grew they also were introduced to him.  Our sincere and heartfelt sympathy go out to the entire Henderson family.  He was a great doctor and even better friend

  4. Jim was a very dear friend and respected surgical colleague.  We have so many precious memories of time spent with Jim and Martha, including days spent as guests in their Lake Creek "home at the end of the road."  We will greatly miss Jim and his friendly and happy personality!

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