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Bennie T.
Democrat MS 2

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  • Honoring Lillie G. Henson

    by Representative Bennie G. Thompson

    Posted on 2014-07-30

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    THOMPSON of mississippi in the house of representatives Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a remarkable hero, Lillie G. Henson.

    Lillie G. Dean Henson was born to the late Aaron and Lillian Dean on August 10, 1949 in Sardis, MS, Panola County. She is the ninth of eleven children, five boys and six girls. There were many challenges that she faced that seemed to have placed her in the line of the first born. She was blessed to be born in a Christian home where reading and studying the Bible were not an option, therefore, her faith in the Lord was well rooted and grounded.

    Faced with many challenges of sickness in her family, Lillie learned the application of her faith was the only true anchor. Growing up was very challenging at times. Early in her growing up years her mother was stricken with a severe heart condition which required lots of rest and carefully prepared meals.

    At the age of fourteen, much of the responsibility of taking care of the family fell upon Lillie. Cooking breakfast for the family and preparing a special diet for her ailing mom before going off to school was quite an experience.

    As a little girl growing up, Lillie's dad would ask her to read the Bible to him, and as a child she remembers reading: ``Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the earth.'' This scripture and many others rested in her spirit as she grew into adulthood. Lillie's passion for the word of God grew greater and greater.

    By the time Lillie was a junior in high school, she began to make plans for college . . . only to be asked by her ailing mother to stay home to make sure her younger sister, who was then a junior, finish high school. Her plans were shattered but she learned to be obedient to her parents through the studying of the scriptures.

    In 1969, Lillie's mother went to be with the Lord, her sister completed her junior year of high school with perfect attendance and completed high school as planned.

    In 1970, Lillie moved to Chicago with her older siblings. Lillie was employed at Brachs Candy Company for twenty years. She was among the first few African Americans to hold a manager's position in the Quality Control Department.

    In 1990, Lillie's dad at the age of eighty-two became ill. Her husband, Otha Henson, Sr., who was also employed at Brach Candy Company and is from Kilmichael, MS, decided to move back south to care for Lillie's dad and baby sister, Rebecca, who was born with Spinal Bifida. Lillie's dad passed away in 1991 and Rebecca lived ten years after his death.

    Since 1996 to present, Lillie has been employed as Program Manager at Youth Opportunities Unlimited, a Youth Development Program located in Lambert, MS.

    Lillie continued her education at Northwest Community College, Senatobia, MS, Rust College, Holly Springs, MS, and in 2012, she earned a BA in Ministry and in 2013 she received a Masters in Christian Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, FL.

    Lillie is happily married, the proud mother of four children, eleven grandchildren and two great grand boys.

    You can find her teaching Sunday school on Sunday mornings at Pleasant Green M.B. Church, Sardis, MS, also a praise and worship leader, counseling, and encouraging and nurturing those in need.

    Eph. 6:2, ``Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.'' Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mrs. Lillie G. Henson for she is definitely the epitome of an unsung hero.


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