James R. Henderson, 78, Coast Guard welder

April 21, 2002

James Roosevelt Henderson, a retired welder for the U.S. Coast Guard, died Wednesday of cardiac arrest at Sinai Hospital. The longtime Northwest Baltimore resident was 78.

After serving as a Navy boatswain in the Pacific during World War II, he learned the welding trade. He worked for 35 years at the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard and remained active in the USCG Retirement Association until his death.

While growing up in Westmoreland County, Va., Mr. Henderson studied to be a barber; he cut hair for family and friends all his life. He was a handyman who could tackle any project, and his vegetables were the envy of the neighborhood, said a daughter, Janice Regina Henderson of Baltimore.

"He loved home-improvement projects, and all the neighbors tapped into the things he could do," Ms. Henderson said. "He was really active in the neighborhood, never minded helping everybody, and everybody always had fresh vegetables from his garden."

He and Ada Gaskins were married in 1943. Mrs. Henderson, a Baltimore City schoolteacher, died in 1987.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Calvary Baptist Church, 3911 Garrison Blvd., where Mr. Henderson was a longtime member.

Other survivors include: two sisters, Vashti Coleman of Washington and Pauline Smith of Montross, Va.; another daughter, Sonia Juanita Mickens of Baltimore; two sons, James R. Henderson Jr. of Baltimore and Jon R. Henderson of Jacksonville, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

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