Former London city councillor, electrical engineer and entrepreneur Dale Henderson is being remembered for his positive attitude, friendly smile and entrepreneurial spirit.
According to an obituary, Henderson died at University Hospital as a result of a stroke on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at the age of 74.
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The obituary says in addition to serving as a city councillor, Henderson was also president of D.G. Henderson and Associates Ltd., Sun Parlour Raceway Ltd., Arondale Farms, Bourbon Street Station, the Institute of Integrated Medicine and the London City Music Theatre.
He also was the founding director of the London Small Business Centre, Advanced London Inc. and the London Economic Development Corporation as well as serving as a past president and chair of the London High Technology Association, the obituary says.
Above all his achievements, however, “nothing was more important to him than his devotion to his family and friends.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, Mayor Ed Holder said he was saddened to learn of Henderson’s death.
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“He was a colourful character, to be sure, someone whose sheer volume of ideas was exceeded only by his fondness for London, commitment to his constituents, and especially his love of family,” he wrote.
“On behalf of London City Council, our thoughts are with his family, friends, and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As Ward 9 councillor from 2010 to 2014, Henderson made waves for using his expense budget to purchase equipment to launch Dale TV, a YouTube video series where he discussed city issues. As the London Free Press reported in 2014, the equipment purchases totalling over $12,000 in two years were allowed under city policy at the time.
The bylaw has since been amended to specify that a single item exceeding $750 in value will require pre-approval and that such items be returned to the city clerk once a councillor’s term ends.
On the online obituary guestbook, former mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best sent her condolences and prayers to the family.
“Dale was certainly a bright light, always coming up with a new idea and bringing much laughter and smiles to many he would meet,” she wrote.
Former councillor Denise Brown wrote that she was saddened to learn of Henderson’s passing.
“Had the pleasure of knowing Dale for almost 30 years and we served on London City Council together. He had a great sense of humour and a contagious laugh. May he rest in peace,” she wrote.
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Outside of politics, Henderson “had a love of music, in particular the ‘big band’ style of Guy Lombardo,” the obituary reads.
“He had a passion for playing his drums and accordion. People will remember him playing for the Dutch Club’s Tomato Soup Band in many Santa Claus Parades,” it continued.
“Dale had a spark for life that will carry on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him. He will be missed most for his contagious smile and huge sense of humour.”
Several obituary guestbook comments noted his happy-go-lucky attitude, joyous smile and friendly nature.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family service will be held at Harris Funeral Home and a future celebration of life will be planned “when everyone can be there as would be his wish.”
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