Dr Derek Henderson
FORMER Rhodes University vice-chancellor Derek Henderson, 79, has died at Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown after a long illness.
Henderson was vice-chancellor and principal at Rhodes for 21 years from 1975 to ’96.
Henderson’s daughter, Margaret Keeton, said yesterday he was a “wonderful father” who never raised his voice.
She said her father “had been in poor health for some time, but he never allowed his frailties to get to him. He was frail . . . (so that) the small things you and I would recover from, were a big thing to him. ”
She said he was admitted to Settlers Hospital at the beginning of last week, but died on Friday.
Henderson’s death comes four months after the death of his humanitarian wife, Dr Thelma Henderson.
He received his PhD in applied mathematics in 1960 at Harvard University in Massachusetts, and was appointed professor of computer science at Wits University in 1967. He attended Johannesburg’s St John’s College where he matriculated in 1945.
Keeton said Henderson, who served on the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research from 1982 to ’87, had never allowed the apartheid regime to influence the way Rhodes was run. He also served on the State President’s Scientific Advisory Council from 1988 to ’94.
Henderson is survived by his two daughters, Keeton and Angela Marriner, and three grandsons. His funeral service will be held at the Rhodes University chapel on Tuesday at 2. 30pm.