Margaret Helen Lovegrove Henderson died around 7:35 PM on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in Room 376 in the Critical Care Unit of Lenoir Memorial Hospital. Margaret was predeceased by her parents Elmo and Nannie Lovegrove, her husband William C. (Bill) Henderson, and her sister Hattie Mae Underdown. Margaret is survived by her children: Gene H. Henderson and Amy M. Henderson of Kinston, NC, and Suzan H. Gentry of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Margaret is survived by Suzan’s husband Warren Gentry and Margaret’s beloved grandchildren Zachary, Savannah, and Avery Gentry. Margaret is also survived by her older sister Mildred Staton of Scotland, NC. Margaret is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces from the Staton and Underdown branches of the Lovegrove side of her family.
Visitation will be held at Howard-Carter Funeral Home on Vernon Avenue on Sunday, October 21, 2018, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The Funeral Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Kinston at 2:00 PM on Monday, October 22, 2018. The Reverend Eddie Bellis, the interim Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, will officiate at the Funeral Service and the Burial. After the Funeral Service, the burial will take place at Pinelawn Memorial Park on Vernon Avenue (Highway 70 West) in Kinston, NC. Pallbearers will include family members and friends. The family requests that visitation only take place at the Howard-Carter Funeral Home and at the First Presbyterian Church. The family requests no home visits, please. The family requests that friends make donations in Margaret’s memory to either the First Presbyterian Church of Kinston or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Carolina or the local American Cancer Society.
Margaret was born in 1933 on the Dunn Farm south of Scotland Neck, NC. A few years later her parents bought their own farm on Highway 258 south of Scotland Neck. The fact that her parents were able to purchase the farm and make a living off of the land during the Great Depression was truly an amazing accomplishment. Margaret’s parents instilled into her good Christian values, which included loving God, loving your neighbors, working hard, treating all people with love and respect, and maintaining high moral values. Margaret graduated from Scotland Neck High School and she attended Louisburg College and later Lenoir Community College. Margaret’s total college credits would be equivalent to an Associate’s Degree by today’s standards.
Margaret married Bill Henderson on June 18, 1960. A year later their only son Gene was born. Their oldest daughter Suzan was born in 1967 and their youngest daughter Amy was born in 1971. For the first eighteen years of her marriage, Margaret was a devoted wife and a loving mother. Margaret was an old-fashioned stay at home wife until 1978. Bill and Margaret Henderson placed a high value on their children’s education. In 1978, Margaret was hired as a Volunteer Kindergarten Teacher Assistant at Banks Elementary School in Kinston. In 1979, Margaret was hired as a full-time paid Teacher Assistant at Banks Elementary School. For the next 22 years, Margaret worked as a Teacher Assistant at Banks School, where she mainly taught Kindergarten, Second, and Third Grade students. Margaret directly taught over 450 students, but, she influenced thousands of Banks students during her two decade career. Margaret worked hard at Banks School and she frugally saved her money. Through their combined efforts, Bill and Margaret insured that all three of their children were able to graduate from a four year college. All three Henderson children graduated from the college of their choice with a Bachelor’s Degree and all of them graduated from college totally debt-free due to the loving efforts of Bill and Margaret.
When Bill and Margaret first moved to Kinston in 1961, they visited several churches. They enjoyed the people and the minister at First Presbyterian Church, so they soon attended FPC on a regular basis. Margaret was an official member of the First Presbyterian Church in Kinston for 50 years. For many years, Margaret was a Sunday School Teacher for the Two-and- Three Year Old Nursery. Margaret enjoyed working with Linda Hodges and Ann Blackmon in the Nursery. Margaret was a member of Circle 2 of the Presbyterian Women. Margaret developed a close and loving friendship with Mary Neal Mills. Because of their friendship, Mary Neal allowed Margaret’s extended family to stay at her lovely Beach Home in Emerald Isle during the summer. The Henderson and Underdown families normally spent a “week at the beach” in July at Mary Neal’s Beach Home from 1990 through 2007. Margaret, Gene, and Amy also stayed at the beach house for weekend trips on several occasions. Margaret always loved spending time at that lovely beach house.
Margaret was officially diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer on November 11, 2013. Margaret received Chemotherapy treatments from November 2013 through April 2014. The Lymphoma came back in September 2016. Margaret received Radiation Treatments from the end of October through November 14, 2016. From January 2017 through June 2017, Margaret received Chemotherapy Treatments again. Visits and stays at Lenoir Memorial Hospital were becoming routine for Margaret and her family by this time. Unfortunately, the Lymphoma came back for a third time in March of 2018. Margaret underwent Chemotherapy from March 2018 through July 2018. Margaret received Radiation Treatments from late-August through September 12, 2018. Sadly, Margaret was admitted into LMH on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, with Lymphoma and internal bleeding. During the last two weeks of her life, Margaret was in horrible pain and agony.
The family would like to thank Dr. Peter Watson and Gretchen Vick, FNP, for their hard-working and tireless efforts to try to help Mama endure the pain and suffering that Lymphoma cancer caused her to have. From 2013- 2017 Mama seemed to be holding her own in her fight with cancer. However, in 2018, the cancer definitely had the upper hand and Mama was getting tired and worn out. The family would also like to thank the hard-working, dedicated, and loving nurses at the Kinston Medical Specialists Oncology-Hematology Office for the care that they provided for Mama. Gene and Amy would like especially to thank KMS Office Staff members Dawn, Dana, and Becky for the love, respect, and support that they extended to Mama and her family. The family would like to thank Dr. Kenneth Lee Johnson who first recognized that Mama had cancer and promptly sent her to a specialist. Likewise, Dr. Johnson recognized that Mama’s nose bleeds in September 2016 were not normal and he sent her to other medical specialists. The family also thanks Viola, Kim, Carol, Shell, and Teresa for serving as Mama’s caregivers from February 2014- February 2016. The family would like to thank Debra Jordan for serving as Mama’s primary caregiver from September 2014- October 2018. Debra faithfully and lovingly took care of “Miss Margaret” during the last four years. Gene and Amy would like to extend our love and thanks to Debra for “staying overtime” with Mama in LMH in Room 461 and Room 376---Debra’s willingness to stay with Mama allowed us to try to rest a little bit. The family would like to thank Dr. Cox, Dr. Gallaher, Dr. John, the LMH generalists, and the nurses for trying to make Mama’s last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible. The Nurses on the Fourth Floor West were especially attentive and supportive of Mama’s needs and we thank them.
The family would like to thank two special friends from FPC, Becky Berry and Mary Neal Mills. Becky has faithfully and lovingly sent Mama cards many, many times during the last five years---Becky has always been loving, positive, and encouraging. Becky’s cards, words of encouragement, and phone calls meant more to Mama, Gene, and Amy than she will ever realize. Mary Neal has always been a loving, caring, and supportive friend to both Mama and the family. Mary Neal regularly phoned the family to get updates on Mama. Mama sincerely appreciated Mary Neal’s friendship, love, and support over these many years. The family also would like to thank our family friend Pam Hawkins for the love and support that she has shown all of us over the years. Pam was Mama’s hair stylist for over twelve years. Pam always made Mama’s hair looked perfect. After Mama lost her hair because of chemotherapy, Pam continued to show love and support. When Mama’s hair finally grew back in, Mama and Pam decided to let Mama’s hair turn gray. Pam still made Mama’s gray hair look perfect. The family thanks Mama’s neighbors Gwen Carraway and Margaret Short for their love and support over the last five years. They faithfully phoned us and talked with us to receive updates on Mama. Gwen and Margaret both personally know how horrible cancer can be for family members.
Mama was a good, decent Christian woman who showed love and respect to everyone that she met. Mama had a deep, constant, quiet, and dignified faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Mama made her public Profession of Faith in the Nahalah Presbyterian Church over 70 years ago. Mama’s soul was right with the Lord Jesus Christ. Mama did not deserve to get cancer. Lymphoma is a nasty, cruel form of Blood Cancer. The fact that Mama suffered from cancer shows the validity of Matthew 5:45, which states: “For God makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Mama was definitely a good woman. Lymphoma definitely “rained down” on her physical body during the last five years. However, Lymphoma did not and could not destroy Mama’s loving, sweet spirit, which remained intact until the very end. The family is confident that Margaret Lovegrove Henderson heard these words from the Lord on Wednesday night: “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). The Henderson family encourages non-believers to read the Gospel message in the New Testament and to seek the salvation that the Lord freely offers.