The UW Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, has received a $3.2 million bequest from the estate of Lucile Evelyn Townsend Henderson of Seattle, a longtime supporter of the division. Mrs. Henderson died at the age of 101 on Sept. 3, 2006. She and her husband, the late Frank Carlton Henderson, owned and operated the Henderson Camps in the San Juan Islands from 1935 to 1966. It became one of the largest private children’s camps on the West Coast and is today known as Camp Nor’wester on Johns Island. The Hendersons also ran a ski lodge at Snoqualmie Pass.
Lucile Henderson, born in Seattle on December 13, 1904, was a UW graduate who pursued a career with the Girl Scouts, locally and nationally, before marrying Mr. Henderson. The couple had no children.
The bequest created the Townsend-Henderson Fund to benefit the Division of Rheumatology. The funds will be used to help establish three professorships to recognize the outstanding contributions of Dr. Mart Mannik, former head of the Division of Rheumatology; Dr. Robert F. Willkens, former section head of Rheumatology at Harborview Medical Center; and the late Dr. Bruce C. Gilliland, a renowned rheumatologist at UW Medical Center. In addition, the Townsend-Henderson Fund will establish an endowment to recognize Dr. Peter A. Simkin, another renowned rheumatologist who is currently in the Division of Rheumatology, and will help to support the research careers of young rheumatologists within the division.
Dr. Keith Elkon, current head of the Division of Rheumatology, explained that Mrs. Henderson became a strong proponent of research when her sister developed severe arthritis in her late twenties and eventually died from complications of her disease. Dr. John Dickson, a longtime friend of the family, related that Mrs. Henderson “loved the world and everything in it” — a collection that included her husband, children, nature, music, art, literature, and the occasional football game.
Contributions may be made to: Townsend-Henderson Fund, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356428, Seattle, WA 98195.