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Henderson had a caring nature

November 18, 2017 GMT

The eldest of 10 children, Ruby Darnell Ervin Henderson learned to be a caregiver early on.

“As she got older and had younger siblings, she was responsible for raising them,” her niece Sharon Ervin said.

After their father died, Henderson and her husband took in her younger siblings.

Henderson also raised her niece after her sister was unable to care for her.

“She always took care of me … was good to me,” Ervin said. “I’ve always felt loved.”

“She never thought about herself; she thought about everybody else,” longtime friend and colleague Marga Griffin said. “If you were having a bad day, she could make it go away.”

Henderson died Nov. 11, just two weeks before her 71st birthday.

Marrying at the beginning of 1964, Henderson helped her husband run his trucking business, doing clerical work, including keeping the books.

Although she never finished high school, “she was very, very smart,” Ervin said. “When I asked her questions, she always knew the answer … was an avid reader, really good at crossword puzzles.”

Henderson’s life changed after her husband had a debilitating stroke in the mid-1990s.

“She really couldn’t care for him and had to put him in a nursing home,” Ervin said. “It just killed her to do that.”

Deciding she needed a job, Henderson became a carrier for the Express-News, taking on a huge route.

“It was a strenuous,” her niece said. “She started between midnight and 1 a.m. … drove a 100 miles in a night; sometimes she wouldn’t get home until 8 or 9 a.m.”

Even so, Henderson enjoyed the work, often helping the other carriers prepare their papers for delivery.

“She was quick to make new friends,” friend Robert Davis said. “She really enjoyed talking to and meeting new people.”

Popular with her subscribers, Henderson always received numerous gift cards during the holidays.

“Her customers loved her,” Ervin said.

Henderson continued to work for the Express-News until 2012, about 11 years after her husband died.

“She could make you forget about the bad things at least for awhile,” Griffin said. “I haven’t met very many people who had the capabilities she had.”