Wednesday, June 19, 2024




Dr. Phillip Henderson was born and raised in Longview, WA.  He was part of a family of physicians – his grandpa, father, his son and now his granddaughter is a surgeon in Seattle.  All following the same career path.

Phil married his school sweetheart – they met in the 2nd grade, and Alma Delta knew she would marry Phil.

And this came to pass.  They had four children; three of whom are still living.

Phil joined the Rotary Club of Longview, WA, on July 1, 1953, and remained an active member until his death in July 2021. That is 68 years of continuous Rotary service.   On June 29, 2021, District Governor Greg Horn brought a Special Recognition Award to present to Phil at the Club’s Installation Banquet. Unfortunately, Phil was not able to be present at that Banquet.

During Phil’s long Rotary career, he saw many changes – most of which he approved:  the broadening of the classification system and the admission of women as regular Rotary Club members were two of his favorite changes.

Despite a busy OB-GYN practice which included his expertise as a surgeon, Phil found time for Rotary.  He served on Membership, Awards & Recognition, Fireside Socials, Bell Ringing, and Hospital Visit committees.  He attended meetings whenever possible, and after retirement, he became a “regular.”  During the pandemic, Phil enjoyed our Rotary ZOOM meetings.  A fellow Rotarian brought her laptop to Phil’s home, where they shared Rotary and lunch together (often including a Phil produced desert!)  When the Club became hybrid, Phil attended in person again.

Bob Beal presents Phil with the Spirit of Rotary Award using careful social distancing with Neil Zick on the left. This took place in Phil’s beloved vegetable garden, which was still thriving at the time of his death. The plaque is in Phil’s lap, and Bob is using his distancing tongs to present a celebratory roll of toilet paper.

Over the Rotary years, Phil received some significant awards: In 2017, he received the Distinguished Rotarian Award from The Rotary Club of Longview, and in 2020, the Club presented Philip Henderson The Spirit of Rotary Award.  And in 2021, our District Governor recognized Phil’s many years of continuous membership with the Special Recognition Award.  The Spirit of Rotary award was very special because Phil embodied that characteristic.  Due to the pandemic, the award was presented in Phil’s vegetable garden.

Phil was a much loved and respected man in the Longview area.  One Rotarian, Jim Hennig, was in Sunriver, OR, where he joined a locals coffee klatch.

A member of that group, upon hearing that Jim hails from Longview, asked if Jim knew a doctor in Longview known for delivering many, many babies.  Upon hearing the name Henderson the coffee drinker was ecstatic as Phil had delivered his three children. He had many generous accolades for Phil as an OB specialist.  When Jim later told Phil about this encounter, Phil was his usual modest self  “just doing my job.”  It is rumored that Phil may have delivered nearly 20,000 babies.

The Rotary Club of Longview is deeply appreciative of Dr. Phil’s 68 years of Rotary service.  He will be missed by all of us.

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