LaSalle attorney T. Donald Henson passed away Tuesday, December 31 at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital after a long and brave battle with Lewy body dementia.
His family will host a visitation Saturday, January 11 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hurst Funeral Home in LaSalle. A second visitation will take place Sunday, January 12 at 12:00 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church in LaSalle. A memorial service will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the church.
Don and his identical twin brother Ron were born July 24, 1942, in Murray, Ky., to Eltis Franklin and Nora Kathleen Henson, and they remained nearly inseparable until Ron’s untimely death in 2004.
Don earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and zoology from the University of Illinois in 1964. Setting aside a planned medical career and acceptance to medical school, Don decided after graduating from college that he’d prefer to be an attorney. He earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1967. After working as an associate with the Graham and Graham law firm in Springfield, Don accepted a position with Herbolsheimer and Lannon in LaSalle in 1970. He worked for the firm as an associate and a partner until his 2013 retirement.
Don’s greatest professional fulfillment came from representing his clients in courtrooms around the country. His dedication to his profession earned him a highly coveted invitation to become a fellow in the esteemed American College of Trial Lawyers at the relatively young age of 42. Don was a member of several professional associations including the American Bar Association; the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors and Assembly, as a representative of the Young Lawyers Section; and the LaSalle County Bar Association. He was this organization’s president in 1980 and 1981. In addition to his regular practice, he co-authored articles and lectured on specific liability insurance topics and counseled such area enterprises and organizations as Illinois Valley Community Hospital, LaSalle-Peru Township High School, Illinois Valley Community College and the Illinois Valley Symphony. He was an avid fisherman and could be found dropping a line in waters around the world.
Don married Vicki Sue Barth in Urbana, Ill., on December 28, 1965, and he held on long enough to allow the couple to mark their 54th wedding anniversary together December 28. Partners in every respect, he and Vicki built a happy life through hard work and deep love for family, friends and each other.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and his twin brother. He is survived by his wife Vicki and son Tom (D.) of Peru; daughter Jessica and her husband Colin Stackpole of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and grandchildren Chloe Henson of Irvine, Calif., and Kai and Trey Stackpole of Brooklyn.
His family asks that memorials be directed to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (lbda.org). The Hurst Funeral Home in LaSalle is assisting the Hensons during this difficult time.