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A Christian, a wife, and a mother, a journalist, a traveler all describe Marion Henderson who died Saturday, September 1, 2018 at Heritage House in Atlantic, IA. She was born June 28, 1925 in Elko, NV to Ruth and A. E. Cahlan. A year later the family moved to Las Vegas, NV where her father was managing editor of the Las Vegas Evening Review Journal. She graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1942. In later years she enjoyed the Las Vegas High School Reunions each fall.
In 1944 she married Milton Henderson, an officer at Nellis Air Force Base, and when he was discharged they moved to Mount Ayr, IA, where Milt worked for the Extension Service and later a lay pastor for the United Methodist Church. Their four children were born and raised there. She was a big supporter of her children’s activities and especially enjoyed the sporting events.
Milt passed away in 1990 and she lived in Mount Ayr until 1997 when she became legally blind and moved to Atlantic, IA to be near son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Gail Henderson.
Marion carried on the family tradition as a journalist and was a reporter for the Mount Ayr Record News. Two of the highlights were interviews with actress Hillary Swank and astronaut Peggy Whitson. Marion’s last writing was personal as she composed most of this obituary.
She became an active Christian at about age five and her faith was an important part of the rest of her life. She took leadership roles in local, district, and conference levels of the United Methodist Church and as a lay pastor’s wife.
An activity which was always fun for her was going to the Drake Relays with extended family including Milt’s brothers and families and later grandchildren. After coming to Iowa she attended all but two years.
Her grandmother, Marion E. Cahlan, loved to travel and was a great influence on Marion. Her father had a love of traveling and started her on her goal of visiting all 50 states which she accomplished. She also toured Russia and Scandinavia with daughter, Susan. The Russia trip in 1998 was really special as this was a time of transition in Russia. Her brother, Forest Cahlan, gave her the trip of her choice for her 70th birthday. She and son, Pat, toured Alaska by car and put on 2,000 miles of awe inspiring scenery.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Forest Cahlan.
Survivors include daughter, Susan Lidey, of Las Vegas, NV, and three sons, Bruce (Gail) of Atlantic, IA., David (Sara) of Bartlett, IL, and Patrick (Kelli) of Lexington, KY. Grandchildren, Josh, Lidey, Scott Henderson (Beth), Todd Henderson (Julia Hartwig), Brad Henderson (Michelle), Holly Marquez (Randy), and Jeff (fiancé Kelsey). Great-grandchildren are Gianna Lidey, Amelia, Beckett, Matilda and Hope Henderson, and Natalie Marquez.
A visitation will be held at the Heritage House in Atlantic, IA on Thursday, September 6 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a service of remembrance beginning at 4:00 p.m.
On Friday, September 7, a visitation will be held at the Mount Ayr United Methodist Church from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with a memorial service beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr. Memorials are to the Mount Ayr United Methodist Church or P.E.O. Educational fund. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

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