John "Big John" Henderson

January 20, 1940 ~ January 21, 2021 (age 81)


John "Big John" Henderson, 81, of Chandlersville passed peacefully on January 21, 2021 having led a good life lived. What we do for ourselves dies with us, but we do for others remains unforgettable. By this measure, John will not be forgotten by all who have been touched by this caring, proud man of deep integrity and profound love for his family.

Born in Toledo to the late Harry and Ruth Henderson, John moved to the Salt Creek area during his high school years.  A star basketball player in the 50’s for Chandlersville High School, his love for the sport never ceased and he played for many years after on various teams.  He married his high school sweetheart, Josie, who just happened to be a cheerleader in a fairy-tale union worthy of their own Hallmark Channel special and the love that swept them off their feet 61 years ago, never diminished.

Big John, as he was known, proudly served his community for 25 years as a professional fire fighter with the Zanesville Fire Department and he took great pride in his vocation.  It was more than just a way to make a living for John, being a fire fighter was a calling and many people benefited from the care and energy he put into his craft and his courage.  During his off days, he worked for Wayne Manufacturing in Duncan Falls fabricating just about anything made of steel, aluminum, or iron. Later, he built custom homes and owned a business that manufactured and installed split railed fences that you can be found throughout Muskingum County. Later in life, using his ample skill, he crafted and sold thousands of lids for Longaberger baskets in his workshop using tools and techniques he had developed during years of experience. He was widely known for his attention to detail, his creativity, his ingenuity and his superb craftsmanship in everything he designed and constructed.


John is survived by his wife, Josie (Holbrook) Henderson, and their four children, Mike (Kelly) Henderson, Johnnie (Randy) McDermott, Kathy (Gary) Lockhart and Dustan (Misty) Henderson. All total, John was called Grandpa or Papa by 19 grandkids and ten great-grandkids.  He was fiercely proud of every one of his kids and their children and if you had an hour or even five minutes, he would bend your ear letting you know.  If bragging on his kids and grandkids was a sin, he would’ve needed to seek absolution on a daily basis.

He was also proud of his siblings and is survived by four brothers, George (Jean) Henderson, Pat (Carol) Henderson, Dave (Sandy) Henderson, Ted (Karen deceased) Henderson, and his sister Linda Gourney.  He was preceded in death by his brother Ken (Bonnie) Henderson.

The measure of a person’s life has many facets with perfection sought, but never attained and when that life ends, it’s God who grades our performance.  His family is pretty confident that Big John will score very high marks for a life well led.  We are proud of the man he was and he will reside in our hearts forever.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that a donation in John’s name be given to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at using the Donate Now tab.

Memorial visitations will be held from 2 to 3 pm on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at the Farus Funeral Home of Duncan Falls.  A memorial service will be held in the spring with a date and time to be announced later. 

The family requests that self-provided face masks be worn and social distancing be observed during the calling hours.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John "Big John" Henderson, please visit our floral store.


January 24, 2021

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Farus Funeral Home of Duncan Falls
383 Main St.
Duncan Falls, OH 43734

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