Angelo Henderson Is Recalled As Having 'A Rich, Layered Life'

February 16, 2014, 6:42 AM by  Alan Stamm

Tributes are being shared as diverse communities mourn Angelo Henderson, a 51-year-old WCHB host, associate minister at Detroit's Triumph Church, civic actvist and former journalist who died Saturday at his Pontiac home of natural causes, according to a preliminary finding.

Friends, colleagues and community figures, as well as those who know only his radio voice and messages, express condolences to his family and gratitude for his personal and public contributions.

"He touched countless lives, including my own," says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

At Triumph Church,  Rev. Solomon Kinloch, Jr. recalls his "larger-than-life personality and his efforts "to do monumental things in support of the community."

"He left us a blueprint for a rich, layered life," posts author Betty DeRamus, who worked with Henderson at The Detroit News.

Details on visitation and a service are awaited from Swanson Funeral Home in northwest Detroit.

These are among other reflections online and in statements, followed by a link to his 1998 article that won a Pulitzer Prize article and by an embedded TV news video: 

"He used every second:" He was not someone who floated through life, leaving no footprints, touching no souls. He left us a blueprint for a rich, layered life -- husband, parent, community activist, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, radio personality, minister. He used every second of his 51 years on earth, yet could still find time to help someone in need. -- Betty DeRamus, author and former Detroit News columnist

Tireless passion: Few people have worked as passionately and tirelessly to improve this community than Angelo Henderson. Through his radio program, his ministry and his personal community service, everything Angelo did was meant to uplift our city and its people. -- Mike Duggan, Detroit mayor

"Kind generous, fun and smart:" You know how there are some people you meet and you think, "Oh, I'm going to know him from now on." That's how I felt when I met him and I think that's how he made everyone feel when he met them. It's a cliche, but the man honestly never met a stranger. But he wasn't just superficially nice. He was sincerely kind, generous, fun and smart. He encouraged me in so many ways.

He wasn't a person who just doled out false compliments so when he told me he liked something it meant something to me. I tried to tell him how much I admired him but I don't know if you can ever say that enough. . . . I respected and liked him so much. Detroit is really not going to be the same place without him. -- Kim Trent. WSU Board of Governors member and former News reporter

"Monumental" actions: We knew Angelo to be a tireless worker behind the scenes whose heart for people in metropolitan Detroit drove him to do monumental things in support of the community. -- Rev. Solomon Kinloch, Jr., Triumph Church senior pastor

"A great man:" He was great man who loved the church and his city. We worked together to fight crime and improve the neighborhoods in Detroit. -- Auday Arabo, Association of Food and Petroleum Dealers president/CEO

Henderson at his Oct. 21, 1989 wedding to Felecia Henderson, now a Detroit News assistant managing editor.

"We are stunned, and less:" I admired Angelo, I respected him, and I'm not ashamed to say I envied him: beautiful wife, a dynamic voice in the community, and what writer wouldn't want to forever be addressed as "Pulitzer Prize winner?" Now that voice is stilled, and we are stunned, and less. -- Jim McFarlin, freelance journalist and former Detroit News writer 

Spirit of Detroit: Angelo truly touched the community in a special way. If he doesn't have one already, the City of Detroit needs to honor him with a Spirit of Detroit Award! -- Rhonda Rudd, former Detroit News reporter . 

"Warm and welcoming:" I can't think about my life and career as a journalist without thinking about Angelo -- so warm and welcoming to me in NABJ. -- Sabrina Miller, Illinois Department of Public Health communications director

"Gifted and a blessing:" He was gifted and a blessing to Detroit, the state and the nation. -- Teresa Bingman, Okemos attorney

"Powerful voice:" Such a powerful voice in the community and a wonderful minister at our Triumph Church family. -- Glynis Chatman of Detroit

"Genuine nice person:" Setting aside the professional accomplishments of Rev. Henderson as a writer, journalist and radio host, Angelo was a genuine nice person, fellow church member and a good Christian brother -- always with a warm greeting and a smile. -- Dennis Woods of Detroit

Instant friendship: When I first got to Detroit, Angelo was the one who sought me out and made me join the local chapter of Detroit CHapter-NABJ. He was president at the time and got me excited to be a part of a great organization. When you met Angelo, you became his friend instantly and that friendship lasted for years. -- Pamela Woodley, adjunct professor at National American University, Kansas City

►Henderson won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for this Wall Street Journal article:

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