Thomas W. Henderson Jr.

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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Travelers Rest– Thomas W. Henderson Jr., 81, of Travelers Rest passed away on June 9, 2023. 

Born in Aiken, SC, he was the son of the late T.  Wells Henderson and Christine Penn Henderson. 

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ellen Horton Henderson, children Wells Henderson (Sarah) and Christine Tiller (Jerry); grandchildren Kingston Tiller and McKinley Henderson; his sister Penn Dean of Landrum;  sister-in-law Linda Horton (Paul Godfrey) of Asheville; nieces Shannon Joseph of Greenwood, ReeTah Mauldin of Mars Hill, NC and Erin Godfrey Broach of Raleigh, NC, and an extended Henderson-Penn family.

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Tom served with the U. S. Army Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne) including a tour in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

A graduate of Greenwood High School and Lander College, he began his law enforcement career with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Department before joining the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).   

There he served as captain of the Alcohol Enforcement Unit and the SWAT team in addition to other responsibilities prior to retirement.  He worked several high-profile cases including that of serial killer Pee Wee Gaskins and the kidnapping and murder of Shari Smith. He attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico VA and served as president of the SC Chapter of the FBI National Academy Graduates.

After retiring, he and a crew renovated and made additions to the John Landrum Campbell house (c. 1901) in Gowensville, the family home for 20 years.  He also enjoyed working as a ranger at the Links O’ Tryon Golf Course and golfing with the Stooges group.

The family is very appreciative of the services and compassion provided by the staff at Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville and NHC Greenville.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 14, at First Baptist Church Gowensville conducted by Pastor Josh Phillips.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Food Ministry at First Baptist Church Gowensville, 5650 N. Highway 14, Landrum, SC 29356 

Petty Funeral Home in Landrum is handling the arrangements.

Petty Funeral Home
Landrum, SC