Connie Henderson-Damon, 69

Veteran, health care educator, volunteer

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Connie Henderson-Damon, 69, a longtime resident of Oak Park, died on March 22, 2018 from ovarian cancer. Born in Wichita, Kansas, on Jan. 28, 1949, she graduated from Wichita East High School and attended Wichita State University where she was in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She transferred to the University of Kansas Medical Center and earned a B.S. in Nursing. 

She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in New Zealand and lived and worked with Maori people to learn about their attitudes regarding health, wellness and illness. Upon completing her studies, she spent a year traveling overland around the world with a friend. 

She served as a nurse in the Army Reserve's 410th Evacuation Hospital out of Topeka, Kansas with the rank of captain. She returned to school and earned an MBA from the University of Kansas, then accepted a position in 1981 with the American Medical Association, Department of Practice Management in Chicago. 

While working at the AMA, she met Christopher Damon. They were married in 1983 and the couple lived in Oak Park since 1987. HendersonDamon & Associates, a firm she started, provided consulting services to physicians about practice management for 15 years. She also worked in a variety of health care administrative positions. 

In 1984, she edited and self-published a book based on the recollections of her grandmother, Anna Mae Bair, who, at the age of 9, traveled with her family by covered wagon to New Mexico where they homesteaded. 

She volunteered in a variety of local organizations — a member of First United Church of Oak Park, where she provided services to the homeless shelter and to the Food Pantry; a Cluster Tutoring tutor, then became the Cluster Tutoring librarian at First United Church; and served on a number of church committees and the Church Council. 

She served on the board of the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest for several years, chairing several benefit events as well as helping the Historical Society plan its move to their new facility in 2017. She also volunteered with Chicago Honor Flight which takes World War II veterans to Washington D.C. 

Her passions were quilting and photography. Almost all of the quilts she made were given away as gifts, and two of her quilts were given to benefit ovarian cancer research. She enjoyed traveling internationally and in the U.S. with her family, and, in recent years, enjoyed tap dancing lessons with a group of local women. 

Connie Henderson-Damon is survived by her husband, Christopher Damon; her daughter, Laura; six aunts and uncles; 24 cousins and their families; her nephew, Joe Henderson and his family; her in-laws, John and Betsy Damon and Patricia Damon; and her niece, Beth Damon and her family. She was preceded in death by her parents, William O. Henderson and Lenora Bair Henderson. 

The family thanks all the people who loved and supported her during her life and her ovarian cancer journey. 

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at First United Church of Oak Park, with interment at Dexter Cemetery. 

Memorial gifts may be made to the First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St., Oak Park 60301; and the Historical Society of OP-RF, 129 Lake St., Oak Park 60302.

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Matt Vangalis from Coral Springs  

Posted: March 31st, 2018 11:28 PM

Connie was one of the smartest women I've ever known and what was amazing about that is she was also very humble. Classy, funny and when needed elegant. I always had/have a tremendous amount of respect for my cousin Chris & his wife Connie. They took me in for a week when I was a struggling 20 something trying to find my way in life and never judged me. Just down to earth good people with a heart of gold. You will be missed Connie... RIP.

Janet Haisman from OAK PARK  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 11:01 AM

Connie was one of the most positive people I have ever known. Through the many clinical trials she signed up for, she maintained her spirit, continued to quilt, was present at the opening of the OPRF History Museum, and was active at church for as long as possible. Our condolences go to her family and to everyone who knew her. We shall truly miss her.

Karin Pietrini  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 10:01 PM

Connie was full of love and conviction. So kind and generous, she found time for her passions, travels, and family. She was so devoted to Chris and Laura, and they to her. We all marveled at how she did so much and cared so deeply. Connie leaves a hole in the world and in our lives. What an honor to have had her as a friend!

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