William Richard "Bill" was born in 1936, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the oldest son of Richard "Lee" Henson and Lavelle (Davis) Henson. His siblings are George and Gordon. Bill grew up in North Little Rock, Arkansas, went to public schools and graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1954. He attended Little Rock Junior College (now UALR) for two years, then went to Georgia Tech until he changed his major and transferred to the State University of Iowa, in Iowa City, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a specialty in Hydrological Engineering. His career began with the Little Rock District Corp of Engineers. His first assignment as an "engineer in training" was to go to Heber Springs and work on the construction of the Greers Ferry Dam. Five years later he was awarded a grant to continue his education and he chose the University of Illinois. We spent the next year in Champaigne-Urbana, II. Bill came home with his masters degree and our youngest daughter. Happy time!
He met Barbara when he was in his first year at Little Rock Junior College (UALR). She lived across the street from Lee Henson Sign Company. They dated throughout his college years and her nursing school years. They eloped on December 26, 1959, (against the rules of nursing school!) But, after all, they had dated for five years and were going to both graduate our respective schools so they decided it was the time for them.
Bill’s career with the Corp of Engineers spanned thirty-eight years with numerous incentive awards of excellence, including his most recent. He was inducted into the "Gallery of Distinguished Civilians" on May 31, 2007. This is the highest award given to a COE employee. His picture will forever grace the wall of fame at the Federal Building in Little Rock along with the others before him. He was elected "Engineer of the Year "in 1986. He retired after thirty-eight years and swears he hasn't had a day off yet! (his choice!)
He loves all sports and played baseball most of his growing up years and football in high school. He switched to softball and played church league for FUMC, Gardner, and later Amboy United Methodist. Bill and Barbara together coached little girl's softball for about 5 years and their kids were on a baseball and softball teams, so was Barbara. Those were fun times and they ate a lot of ballpark hot dogs! Bill now spends a lot of time doing what he calls "play farming" and the rest of the time he is either hunting or fishing! (with his son, grandsons, occasionally daughter & granddaughter, and you guessed it—Gail Matthews!) They have been hunting buddies for the last 45 years! Ann and Barbara are "hunting & fishing widows!" Barbara has to admit, she sure does enjoy the fish fries!
On April 6, 1961, their first child was born, Dr. Greg Henson. He is an Internal Medicine physician and he and his wife, Sonya, have three of our grandchildren, Jerad age 21, Matthew age 17, and Amy age 13.
On June 23, 1962, our second child was born, Karen Henson-Carter. She is an advertising and marketing executive with AT&T and she and her husband Doug Carter have one son, Will age 14. They are members of FUMC.
On March 10, 1967, our third child was born, Leslie Henson-Kita. She is also doing advertising and marketing for the Little Rock Catholic Diocese Newsletter. She says she is working for God and insurance (part time) so she can spend more time with her two small children. She and her husband Dr. Alexander Kita, orthodontist, have our youngest grandchildren, Cami age 5, and Collin age 4.
Bill and Barbara attended Gardner Memorial United Methodist Church during their children's growing up years, from approximately 1960 until 1980, then they transferred to Amboy United Methodist Church until they joined FUMC two years ago when Will was confirmed into the church. Anne and Gail invited them to come the Builders Class and here they are! Great class!! Love it, everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and they feel right at home!
Barbara Jeane Price was born in 1939, in Conway, Arkansas, the second of five children of Garvin and Faye Price. Siblings are Shirley, Patricia, Ron, and Randy. They moved to LR when she was 2 years old.She started school in LR in the first grade and then in second grade through high school went to NLR public schools. Graduated on May 31, 1957, had the weekend off, then went into Arkansas Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and graduated June 3, 1960 (no summers off, either!). Her first job was a small 30-bed hospital in Heber Springs, AR, privately owned by the five physicians. Their only RN was on maternity leave so this worked out great for her since they would only be there the 6 months of Bill's engineer-in-training assignment. Lots of good experience came from that little hospital! They were also nice enough to pay for her RN boards, which she passed. They moved back to NLR where she worked at Baptist Hospital for two years and meanwhile the new hospital in NLR was being built. The hospital opened on January 21, 1962. She was privileged to set up the newborn nursery with the help of two nurses from LR Baptist. The first baby was born on her shift so her picture with him was in "The Times" and placed in the time capsule to be opened in 50 years along with other firsts. Barbara worked until their second child was born then she worked part time for 2 years. The next nine years were spent with raising their children until their youngest started kindergarten. Her next position was working for an OB-Gyn doctor until he died with cancer. The next job was school nursing with the NLR School District; the hours were great, but it just wasn't what she wanted to do, so she went back to Memorial Hospital. She worked mostly pediatrics and general surgery and finally retired at age 62 after 32 years in nursing. She loves retirement!! She doesn’t have very many hobbies other than reading, growing roses, and going to their grandchildren's cheer competitions and sports events, and family get-togethers with all their family.
“We have been truly blessed and thank GOD for all HIS goodness!!”