Bruce A. Henderson, retired Routt County rancher from Steamboat Springs, died on Independence Day 2011 surrounded by family in Loveland, where he and his wife, Linda, lived. He was 89 at the time of his death.
Bruce was born in Hillrose on the eastern plains of Colorado on Sept. 7, 1921. He grew up working in the sugar beet fields and trailing cows cross-country on horseback. After devastating ranching losses during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, he and his parents, in the early 1940s, discovered paradise in the mountains surrounding the Yampa River in Routt County. Ranching was his life-blood, and he amassed a 2,000-acre sheep and cattle ranch in the area spanning Yellow Jacket Pass between Thorpe Mountain and Blacktail Mountain, which later became known as Henderson Park. In addition to being a sheepherder and cowboy, he was a cat-skinner and heavy-equipment operator, building roads, earthen dams and infrastructure all across the Western Slope. He was, above all, a loving husband and friend to all. Bruce’s life and legacy remain iconic symbols of the American Dream.
Bruce saw four grandkids recently married and had been further blessed by five new great-grandbabies. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Linda Henderson; brother, Dexter Henderson; sister, June Henderson; daughter, Linda Schachterle and husband Gerald; daughter, Myra Legge and husband Ronald; daughter, Janet Henderson; son, Allen Henderson; grandchildren Mark Schachterle, Kenneth Legge and wife Heather, Karen Rock and husband Adam, Ronya Konecny and husband Nicholas, Miranda Reyes and husband Adan, and great-grandchildren Gwenyth Altepeter, Isolde Legge, Hadleigh Legge, Brayden Rock, Cooper Rock, Ryder Konecny and Ryan Konecny. Bruce is predeceased by his parents, Wesley Allen and Emogene May Henderson, first wife, Dolly Henderson, and sisters Nell and Alice Henderson.