Domenica "May" Henderson

Obituary of Domenica "May" Henderson

Domenica "May" Henderson passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at St. Joseph's Hospital. The daughter of Italian immigrants Frank and Elena Giovanniello, May was born on September 5, 1926 in Queens and eventually moved with her parents and sister, Gloria (Conway) to Ellenville. May was a graduate of Ellenville High School and later Albany Teachers College where she received a Degree in Foreign Languages. With her passion for linguistics, she became a French and Spanish teacher at the middle and high school levels, and later taught in a pilot program introducing conversational Spanish in Somerville, NJ elementary grades. May met the love of her life, Robert J. Henderson after they were introduced by the family doctor. After a courtship they were happily married for 54 years. While raising their five children, May supported her husband, moving their family across New York state in his various jobs within the Department of Corrections. After settling in Auburn in 1970, May enjoyed using her multilingual skillset at Adams Travel Agency, where she worked for a number of years. May and Bob spent their early retirement years traveling and spending time with their family and friends, and were members of St. Mary's Church. May was active in a number of organizations and activities, including Auburn Service League, Women's League of Voters, Auburn Children's Committee, Owasco Garden Club, Gourmet Club, Roundabout Book Club, Literacy Volunteers of Auburn and the YMCA exercise classes. Throughout her life she pursued a deep belief in service and community and was even a member of Rotary while in her 80's and 90's. The family is grateful for the wonderful level of care May received during her last 15 months at Peregrine Senior Living in Syracuse and for the final two weeks at St. Joseph's Hospital. When Peregrine visits were unavailable and later limited due to Covid, May had exceptional assistance from the aides, particularly, Justine Boro, who would help May with numerous FaceTime calls to her family, which have now become cherished memories. May was pre-deceased by her husband, Robert in 2010. She is survived by her sister, Gloria Conway; children: Mary Ellen (John) Henderson-Reed, Robb, Frank (Jeannie), Susan (Joe) Raulli, and Rick. May found her greatest joy spending time with her children, grandchildren: Lee (Lauren), Mark and Caitlin Vanderpool, Tara (Travis) DeBois, Candace (Andrew) Mindnich, and Collin (Abigail) Henderson; and nine great-grandchildren. A private service will take place for immediate family, arranged by Farrell's Funeral Service, Inc A Celebration of Life for extended family and friends will follow in late summer. If desired, contributions in memory of May Henderson may be made to Literacy Volunteers of Auburn or the Alzheimer's Association.