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Obituary of Shirley Lou Edgmon Johnson Henderson, 89 

Obituary of Shirley Lou Edgmon Johnson Henderson, 89

Shirley Lou Edgmon Johnson Henderson, 89.

In the care of Chapel of the Roses & Chapel of the Roses Cemetery

Absent from the body; Present with the Lord

– In the earliest morning hours of March 22, 2024, Shirley Lou Henderson came to rest in the arms of Jesus. She finished her earthly course just two months shy of her 90th birthday and went to rejoin her husband, surrounded by loved ones.

Shirley Lou entered this world on the 21st of May, 1934 in Visalia, California. Born the 6th of seven children to Charles “Lee”, and Sarah “Emma” Lena Garner Edgmon, Shirley came to live with the Johnson family at 4 years of age upon the untimely death of her birth mother. She was formally adopted by William W. and Louise Allison Johnson during her twelfth year. Shirley Lou Johnson then lived out the rest of her teenage years with her loving parents until her graduation from San Luis Obispo High School in 1952.

One day while working as a waitress at The Creamery in Morro Bay, Shirley was approached by a young soldier from Illinois, who was stationed at nearby Camp San Luis. Their first date was to a theater to see “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”. The next day, they were engaged. Within two short months of first meeting, Shirley and Eugene Lee Henderson were wed at Morro Bay Presbyterian Church on January 6, 1953. Their marriage, full of love and joy, lasted for 62 years and 8 months until Eugene was called Home after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

After their marriage, Shirley and Eugene spent their first 6 months together living in Illinois, before returning to California, ultimately settling down in Atascadero, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Their first child was born in July of 1954, and over the next 11 years, Shirley gave birth to an additonal 6 children, two of whom, sadly, did not survive long past birth. She was a loving and caring mother who was dedicated to her family. In response to her own fear of the water, Shirley ensured that each of her children learned how to swim, and to swim well. She always put her family first in her priorities, and worked selflessly to meet their needs.

In their earlier years, Shirley and her family would often take long road trips, roaming the American countryside in a Rambler station wagon and tent camping along the way. Visiting and connecting with relatives was always important to her. Nothing made her happier than simply having her family together in one place. Later on, after their children had all left home, Eugene and Shirley exchanged the station wagon and tents for a fifth wheel trailer in which they toured large portions of the country, reaching even as far as Niagara Falls. She often decorated her home with windmills, little dutch girls, and tulips. To visit the Henderson residence in Springtime, one would find the house surrounded in her yellow daffodils and filled with the hymns she skillfully played on her piano. And nothing would put a bigger, dimpled, smile on Shirley’s face than holding a baby, no matter whose it was.

Shirley is survived by her five children: Frances (Lyndon) Denlinger, Janet Mueller, Robert (Jennifer) Henderson, Denise Henderson, and Craig (Vangie) Henderson, in addition to 18 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Eugene, both sets of her parents, and all seven of her siblings. She was also preceded by her two infant children: Gail Diane Henderson (1959) and Kevin John Henderson (1965), as well as two of her grandchildren: Cherish Marie Denlinger(1984-2017) and William Robert McMorran(1982-2023).

Phillipians 4:4,6 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


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