In Memory of





Obituary for Muriel Vogel (Chickey) Henderson

Muriel Vogel Henderson (Chickey) of Concord MA departed this life on February 23, 2020, the day after her 92nd birthday.

She was born in Paterson, New Jersey on February 22, 1928 to Mary van Dyke Vogel and David Vogel. She graduated from Paterson Central High School as valedictorian of her class and attended Smith College on full scholarship, graduating in 1949 with a Bachelors in Sociology. She worked as activities director at the YMCA in Paterson both before and after her graduation from Smith. She married Howard Russell Henderson (Russ) on April 8, 1950. They were married for almost 54 years, until his death in 2004.

Chickey was a strong and vibrant person who loved life and loved her family. She was in all things a teacher -- teaching her daughters to knit, complete craft projects , practice camping skills, play bridge, and organize their time. Always an active Girl Scout, she led scout troops throughout those mothering years, as well as organizing curriculum and teaching Sunday School at the Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut (and later at Covenant Presbyterian in Greenwood Village, Colorado and South Acton Congregational Church in Acton, Massachussetts). She earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Western Connecticut State College in 1969, and completed her practice teaching in the Darien, Connecticut public schools before Russ’s job transferred the family to Martinsville, New Jersey in 1971 and in 1973 to the Denver, Colorado area.

In Colorado, Chickey fully embraced her vocation as an elementary school teacher, teaching third grade and sixth grade in Aurora, Colorado for 13 years until her retirement in 1993. After her retirement she continued teaching, serving as a docent at the Denver zoo. She and Russ took up cross country skiing in Colorado, were avid Denver football and baseball fans and enjoyed an active life there involved with church and community, and entertaining frequent visitors. They welcomed Chickey’s mother Mary Vogel into their household beginning in 1981 and cared faithfully for her throughout her later years until her death in 1997.

In 1997 Chickey and Russ moved back to the east coast, settling in Boxborough, Massachussetts, where they were able to participate actively in the lives of their youngest grandchildren and to be closer to the rest of the family as they grew. They were active in church, neighborhood and a community of serious bridge players. Chickey always took ongoing and active delight in the interests and activities of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they grew to adulthood . The day before her passing, on her 92nd birthday, she received with appreciation notes and pictures from all of the people she loved most, testimony to the lively and unforgettable influence she has been, and always will be, in all of their lives.

She is survived by three daughters: Kathleen Henderson Staudt (and husband Louis Staudt) of Bethesda MD; Mary Jo Pattison (and husband Stewart Pattison) of Guilderland NY; and Elizabeth Henderson Norton (and husband Peter Norton) of Acton MA; also six grandchildren: Benjamin Pattison of Montreal, Quebec (and wife Allison Pattison), David Staudt of Palo Alto California, Elizabeth Vant of Bristol, Vermont (and husband Peter Vant), Sarah Staudt of Chicago, Illinois, William Norton of Saxton’s River, Vermont and Douglas Norton of Haverhill Massachussetts; and three great-grandchildren, Connor, Ava and Emma Pattison.
She was predeceased by her husband Russ Henderson, her mother Mary Vogel and father David Vogel.

Funeral services have been postponed. The new date, time and location will be announced on this website when available.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Smith Fund Scholarships at Smith College, online at the following link:

Memorial page