OBITUARY: David Henderson, 85

Below is an obituary from Chadwick Funeral & Cremation Service:

NEW LONDON, NH — David Henderson died peacefully in his home on June 15, 2020 after spending the day surrounded by his family. He died at his Wallula cottage in New London, NH at the age of 85. He was born on July 11, 1934 to Lester and Dorothy Henderson in Weymouth, Massachusetts. He is survived by his brother Peter Henderson of Hanover, NH and his sister, Eleanor Sedgwick of Park City, Utah.

He is predeceased by his wife Mary “Polly” Henderson, who died in December of 2017. Dave and Polly had 62 years of a beautiful loving marriage. Together they had four children. Rebecca died at the age of 17. David, Aaron and Sarah all live in the New England area and have developed passions passed down from Dave and Polly.

Dave graduated from the University of Vermont with an engineering degree. He and Polly settled in Carlisle Massachusetts where they raised there family. It was in Carlisle where Dave built his first sailboat, a 26” Thunderbird that he kept moored in Barnstable Harbor. The family spent many weekends sailing cape cod bay, living on fresh caught bluefish, mackerel and striped bass. Dave also started his own boat building business “Salt Water Boat Works” out of his workshop in Carlisle. Dave designed and built sailing dingeys he called “Quahoggers”. In addition, he also developed and built sailing rigs which provided the ability to sail an Avon inflatable boat.

After the kids were grown, Dave and Polly were ready for there next adventure. They purchased a 57 foot wooden Ketch sailboat, “Windsong” in Florida, sailed it to Boston Harbor, and there they lived aboard Windsong for the next 10 years. Dave continued his work as an engineer at Textron in Wilmington MA, and Polly worked as a nurse in the northend of Boston. During there time off they took friends and family on many great sailing adventures out of Boston harbor, as far as Matinicus Isle off the coast of Maine.

In addition to building and sailing, Dave and Polly were passionate tennis players. They entered many tournaments all around New England and were a formidable doubles team. The two also had a love for skiing. One of Dave’s proudest commitments was that to NEHSA, New England Handicap Ski Association. You could find Dave at Sunapee Mountain in Newbury NH teaching kids and adults with a variety of handicaps how to safely navigate down some of the steepest slopes.

Dave took early retirement from Textron at the age of 55. He and Polly started there own unnamed business of buying, renovating and eventually selling homes. The two worked tirelessly side by side, doing all the renovations themselves.

They eventually bought a beautiful old Colonial in South Sutton NH. It was a wonderful gathering place for family during holidays. It was there that Dave became caretaker for Polly as she declined due to Parkinsons Disease. After Polly died, Dave moved into his cottage at Wallula and there he finished his sailing career on yet another classic sailing Cat boat.

The family will be planning a celebration of Dave’s life, to be held in the future.

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