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Joseph D. Henderson Leaves a Legacy of Giving Back to the Community

Foundation news | Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Contact: Dana McCoy

Sterling, IL (February 23, 2017) The late Joseph D. Henderson, Sterling, former CGH Health Foundation trustee, believed strongly in giving back to his community. He will be remembered for his tireless efforts to change lives and save lives in the Sauk Valley. Joe died on Feb. 21 at CGH Medical Center.

Whether it was through his work with the Foundation, the Sterling Rotary Club, Greater Sterling Development Corporation Board or Unit 5 School Board, Joe was committed to creating a better life for the community.

“He leaves a legacy of integrity, fairness and love of his community,” said Marty Benson, chair of the CGH Health Foundation. “One of his favorite things to say as a Foundation trustee was ‘We are changing lives and saving lives.’ Joe was instrumental in leading our Foundation in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for healthcare services for the under-served, wellness education, scholarships, and equipment for the hospital.”

Joe and his wife, Ann, were united in their support of CGH Medical Center. Joe served for 13 years as a trustee and Ann has been a CGH Auxiliary volunteer for 27 years. Joe led the Annual Appeal fund drive several times and also served as Foundation Chair. He was Planned Giving Committee chairman throughout his tenure as a trustee.

“Joe certainly provided the spark for many of his fellow trustees in ensuring that fundraising goals were met,” said Mrs. Benson. “He was a man of strength - strength of character, strength of conviction, strength of purpose and vision. He was a leader in thought and action and such a wonderful example of service toward helping others.”

The retired president/chairman/CEO of the former Mercantile Bank, now USBank, was a valuable member of the Foundation Finance Committee. He could be counted on for his keen stock market assessments and suggestions, according to Mrs. Benson. He maintained that a strong local hospital was essential not only for the health of our citizens, but for the growth and success of area communities and businesses.

Joe and Ann have been loyal supporters of the Foundation for nearly 25 years. From the start, Joe helped raise funds for the Foundation, taking on the challenge of contacting many of our more important donors and prospects, according to Mrs. Benson. “He was the right man for the job on so many levels, because of his dedication to the hospital, his connections with so many of our business partners, and his honest love for this Sauk Valley community.”

He leaves his wife, Ann, their three children and seven grandchildren. Joe was a Sterling Rotary Club member, finance chairman of Citizens for Jerry Mitchell Committee and member of the Illinois and American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He was past vice chairman of Unit 5 School Board, past member of the First Presbyterian Church Session, and spent 12 years on the Greater Sterling Development Corporation Board, four years as chair and five years as vice chair.

He served as a Foundation trustee from 2000-2013, chaired the Planned Giving Committee and also was a member of the Finance and Board Development committees.

Joe and Ann have included CGH in their will. In making their announcement, Joe stated, “It is our desire that the hospital will continue to be a source of health and hope for future generations.”

Thank you, Joe, for your legacy of leadership and caring.