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Davis Journal

Long-time senior center director retires

Jan 21, 2021 10:20AM ● By Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—For 18 years, Director Karen Henderson has been a staple at the South Davis Senior Center. Now she’s saying goodbye. 

“I’m 81, almost 82,” said. “I want people to know you don’t have to retire at 65, that they can go on and be useful to the community.”

Henderson started out as a volunteer at the center. “Then after a month or so a job opened as the activities director,” she said. “I got that and then when the center director retired I applied for that. I think I was in the right place at the right time. I’ve loved the 18 years I’ve been here.”

It’s a fun place to be, said Henderson. “Seniors come in for lunch, we’ve had classes in art, lapidary, stained glass, we’ve played bingo. We have a staff of seven or eight people and hundreds of volunteers who have taught classes or delivered Meals on Wheels.”

She’s a former elementary school teacher and went back to school to get a gerontology degree for her position as director. “I was older than all my professors,” Henderson said. “I’m very, very lucky to have been the director for so long. It’s been a dream job.”

The center delivers thousands of Meals on Wheels every day, she said. “We serve hundreds of people who come in for lunch. Most of the teachers give their time freely. The volunteers are so dedicated. They treat their job like they’re being paid. It makes my job easier.”

There are so many good people here in Bountiful, said Henderson. “So many organizations have donated time and services. They’ve been so generous. Bountiful is an amazing place to live and work.”

Henderson treasures all the friends she’s made over the years. “The seniors are so sweet,” she said. “I’ve had the chance to rub shoulders with all kinds of people with different backgrounds. I’ve gained more than they’ve gained from me.”

For now, Henderson plans to catch up on some projects and spend more time with her family. “I’ll be involved with my church and do some family history,” she said. “I love to read so I”ll catch up on some books. I know I’ll have to volunteer and fill my day with good things or I’ll get bored.”