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Raymond Gerald Henderson

Obituary for Raymond Gerald Henderson

March 14, 1932 - November 5, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 86


Raymond (Ray) Gerald Henderson was born March 14, 1932 in Spokane, Washington. He died on Monday, November 5, 2018, following a courageous battle against lung cancer.

Ray was a man who left little to chance. He knew from an early age that his destiny was in his own hands and so as long as he worked hard and persevered, he would have the life he wanted. He was right.

His earliest memories were of a small house that lacked any form of power or running water. He often reminisced that one of his first responsibilities was to milk the cow each morning. His father, Ross Henderson, would be the first to greet him on his return to the house so that he could skim the cream for his morning coffee.

In high school Ray participated in the big 4 sports. He was a natural athlete and lettered in basketball, baseball and football. He was his senior class president and graduated third in his class. He graduated from Meade High in 1950 and went on to Washington State University with a partial scholarship in baseball. In 1952 Ray was president of Pi Kappa Alpha. After committing 3 years to ROTC WSU, he would be denied entry into the armed forces due to a heart defect.

Due to financial hardships, Ray left WSU just short of his senior year. He took on full time work for two years to save enough money to complete his education. In 1955 he applied to Gonzaga University and became a full-time engineering student while still maintaining 30 hours of outside work each week. While in his final stretch at school, he met the love his life, Carolyn. In 1957 Ray would marry the woman that would be his life-long partner for 61 years. One year later he would graduate from Gonzaga University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Ray and Carolyn settled in Seattle. A beautiful baby girl, Stephanie Carolyn Henderson was born in 1959. In 1961 Ray took on a position in Chicago with Inland Steel. Just after the relocation their son Randall (Randy) Raymond Henderson was born.

In 1975 the company he was working for offered him a position in Austin, Texas at Chatleff Controls, Inc. In 1978 the Henderson family purchased Chatleff Conrols, Inc. In 1983 Ray developed an air conditioning component that became a demand in the industry. In 1985 he began work on a new plant in Buda, Texas. In 1986, Chatleff was officially a major player in the industry, with his new factory complete. During this period of time in the Austin area, Ray attended St. Edwards University where he earned an MBA.

Ray was an astute and accomplished businessman and was known for his integrity, honor, and strong work ethic. Chatleff was a family business with his wife, son and daughter all working together along with the excellent group of dedicated employees.

Ray and Carolyn traveled extensively. He didn't forget his family or friends. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Ray was a member at Austin Country Club, a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and a life member of the Beef Master Breeders United. He loved golf, corvettes, and hunting at his ranch.

Ray is survived by his wife Carolyn V. Henderson and his son, Randy. He was also blessed by 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Visitation will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas. Burial will be in a private service on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the R-C Ranch. A family and friends celebration of his life will be held in the spring of 2019.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lone Star Paralysis, P.O. Box 41507, Austin, Texas 78704.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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