Idaho's Oldest Lawmaker Dies At 92

Apr 28, 2015

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports former Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, passed away Monday in hospice care. He was 92-years-old.

"Henderson, who at 91 was the oldest lawmaker to serve in the Idaho Legislature, died at Hospice House late Monday night, according to friends. He served in the Legislature until last year. He also served as Post Falls' mayor and as a Kootenai County commissioner and was a newspaper publisher in Post Falls." - CDAPress.com

Henderson spoke with StateImpact Idaho on his 90th birthday. Then, he said he wasn't yet ready to retire.

"I don’t think age matters. I think maturity matters.  I think in the Legislature it is important to have the diversity.  Two of the new legislators from our area represent that diversity.  One is a man highly skilled in the assessment and evaluation of properties.  The other is a young man who I believe just turned 30, who after several jobs, just received his law degree.  He will bring that young, energetic attitude into the Legislature that stirs us older folks into a new area of curiosity and investigation about what really is possible.  What really is necessary, in the Legislature.  So, diversity of age and experience I believe is essential." - Frank Henderson

Henderson, born in 1922, was a soldier in World War II and a reporter for a Chicago-area Hearst newspaper. Henderson worked in advertising, publishing, and owned the Post Falls, Idaho newspaper before being elected to mayor and later county commissioner. It wasn’t until 2004, at age 82, Henderson decided to run for the Legislature.

He said his job as a state lawmaker was satisfying work.

"It is so satisfying to do legislation that answers questions locally," Henderson said. "It’s common at the post office or the supermarket or the filling station that people will come up and say ‘Mr. Henderson, we appreciate what you do, thank you’.  That’s the reward."

The Associated Press reports "Henderson is survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren."

Listen to StateImpact Idaho's interview with Henderson, here.

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