On Saturday, August 31, 2019, Leon 'Brooke' Henderson, loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great friend to many, passed away at age 85.
L. Brooke was born on April 8, 1934, in Monona, Iowa, to Leon and Iva (Stafford) Henderson. He grew up on the family farm in Waukon, Iowa. In 1955, he received his BSc degree in geology from Cornell College, and, in 1958, he received his MSc degree in geology from the University of Iowa. On Aug. 13, 1958, Brooke married Adelle Davis in Lewistown. Brooke and Adelle moved to Billings in 1961, where they raised two sons, Barry and Joel. Following the 1989 death of Brooke’s wife Adelle, Brooke married Susan Tait Suiter on March 18, 2000, in Billings.
Brooke had a passion for fly-fishing born in 1958 while working as a geologist for Texaco and living in Lewistown near the banks of Big Spring Creek. He would spend long Montana summer evenings fishing after work with friends and colleagues. Brooke also had a passion for bird-watching and may have been single-handedly responsible for propping up the bird-watching book industry for the past three or four decades. Brooke was a terrible cook, but knew where to find the best meatloaf. Just as frequently as he ordered it, he would pronounce it “the best meatloaf I ever had.” Brooke enjoyed playing bridge with his many friends. He grew up in the heartland of America playing baseball and was a diehard New York Yankees and Billings Mustangs fan. But most of all, Brooke was the best Father, Husband, Grandfather and Friend a person could ever hope for.
Brooke was preceded in death by his father, Leon; his mother, Iva; and his first wife, Adelle. He is survived by his wife Susan Tait Henderson of Billings; his two sons and their wives, Barry and Vicki Henderson of Castle Pines, Colorado, and Joel and Molly Henderson of Centennial, Colorado; his two stepsons and their wives, James and Melodee Suiter of Glendale, Arizona, and Christopher and Lisa Suiter of Tempe, Arizona; his brother, Stan Henderson of Charlottesville, Virginia; his granddaughter, Brooke Adelle Henderson of Centennial, Colorado; and grandson Christopher James “CJ” Suiter of Tempe, Arizona.
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In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to make memorials to St. Johns Foundation, 3940 Rimrock Road, Billings, MT 59102 or the charity of their choice.
Per Brooke’s wishes there will not be a funeral or memorial service, but a reception will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Yellowstone Country Club.
Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.
To plant a tree in memory of Leon Henderson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.