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Coach Clem Henderson

Shreveport Times March 11, 2015

Clement "Clem" Vernon Henderson, Sr. died on Monday, March 9, 2015 at the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home. He was born in Orange, TX on January 31, 1923, the only child of Largent M. and Doris Duhon Henderson. Clem donated his body to the LSU Medical Center. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2015, 11 a.m. at Broadmoor Methodist Church where he was a member. Visitation will precede the service beginning at 9 a.m.

Clem was a retired educator. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana Tech and Master of Education from LSU. He did post-graduate work at Louisiana Tech University, Northwestern State University, University of Colorado, and University of Arkansas. He began his educational career as a teacher and coach at Fair Park High School in 1948 and retired as principal in 1977. He coached three sports each year, including football, basketball, baseball, track, and tennis. His teams won state championships in football, basketball, and tennis. Clem was commonly referred to as "Coach" or "Mr. Fair Park." During a short tenure in Northwest Arkansas, he drove the athletic/activities bus for John Brown University, again making a myriad of friends and providing a positive influence on student lives.

Clem graduated from Jennings High School in 1941 and received a football scholarship to Louisiana Tech. He interrupted his college career to serve his country in World War II as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Second Division, 2nd JASCO. Clem was a red, white, and blue patriot who loved his country with all his heart and soul, loved Fair Park High School where he spent his professional education career, and dearly loved his family, friends, and former athletes/students. His favorite hymn "Precious Memories" reflects his attitude about life. Most of all he was a devout Christian who strived to live every day as a Christian.

He was a charter member of the Louisiana Tech National Association for the Advancement of Grandstand Quarterbacks (NAAGQ), a group of men who played football at LA Tech during the 40s and their spouses who maintained lifetime friendships.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dr. Martha Vines Henderson; their three sons, Clem Henderson, Jr. and wife Jennifer Matte Henderson of Lafayette; Charles L. Henderson of Flower Mound, TX; and Dr. James B. Henderson and his wife Tonia Istre Henderson of Bossier City/Natchitoches; six grandchildren, Jarred, Hannah, and Jenna Henderson of Lafayette; Reagan, Nicholas, and Alexander Henderson of Bossier City/Natchitoches; great-grandson, Isaack Henderson of Lafayette, LA. He is also survived by his sisters- and brothers-in-law: Dr. Delbert & Jean Vines, Margie & Paul Humphrey, Beverly Goodrich, Audrey Vines, Norma & H.A. Head, Billie Sue Jackson, Donna Vines, Judy & Bob Foster, Dwight "Bo" Vines; 17 nieces and nephews; and an enormous number of friends and former students.

Special thanks to the staff, nurses, administrators, and Dr. Fleniken at the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, and to Dr. Scott Wiggins, Dr. Eric Smith and Dr. R. Haynie.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Dr. James B. Henderson Achieving Success through Education Scholarship at the Bossier Parish Community College Foundation, Fair Park High School Alumni Association, Northwestern State University Foundation, or the Salvation Army. - See more at:




Fair Park High School Alumni Association

This is an invitation to all Fair Park High School alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of the school, to unite and join the reestablished Fair Park High School Alumni Association.

In the fall of 1928, our school opened its doors to students for the first time. The history of our tribe and reservation is a rich one, created over the past 81years.  With the formation of this Alumni Association, we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the current and future students and to preserve the fine traditions of Fair Park High School.    

A heartfelt thank you goes to Coach and Mrs. Henderson for their love and dedication to Fair Park High School. We are grateful for their diligent work in forming the original Fair Park High School Alumni Association, in May 2006. Our sincere appreciation goes to each member of that organization. Their accomplishments were truly remarkable in funding numerous projects to aid the students. In August 2006, that organization was disbanded after the Caddo Parish School Board announced a plan to make Fair Park a K-8 grade school. Thanks to all of you, our voices were heard and as a result, Fair Park will remain a high school for the foreseeable future.

The original organization has provided the foundation for the current Fair Park High School Alumni Association. It is an honor and humbling that Coach Henderson has asked me to become the Director of the Alumni Association. He will be on the new organization's Board of Directors and play a vital part in the association. The help Coach and Mrs. Henderson continue to give me is immeasurable, always our teachers.

The time is ripe for us to move forward as we pursue our mission to foster the academic excellence, enthusiasm, pride and tradition of Fair Park High School.  Our vision is to unite all alumni, faculty, staff and friends, and motivate them to support and promote the school. The major purposes of the Association are to cooperate with the school administration and other groups in promoting student success and continuing the school's long traditions. With the outstanding efforts being made by our current principal, Ms. Donna Marshall, we truly have an opportunity to assist her in helping the students of Fair Park High School.  

It is my sincere hope that you will join with us, as proud Fair Park High School Indians, in this endeavor. The Alumni Association is a developing organization, we ask for your prayers, support, ideas and suggestions. Together, we can make a difference and for fill the vision, mission and purposes of our organization.

Below you will find a link to our membership application.

I look forward to working with all of you.

Best regards,

Cathy Ridley Bonds

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Leo Sanford
Leo Sanford kicked back in his easy chair, a giant leather affair, and began reminiscing about "the game" he's been forced to re-live over and over again during the past 54 years.

"Sitting in the den in his modest home, located just a couple hundred yards from the southern shore of Cross Lake, the affable, former NFL linebacker doesn't seem to mind detailing for the umpteenth time what has been called "the greatest (NFL) game ever played."

As if it happened yesterday, the 82-year-old Sanford remembers playing center and linebacker for the Baltimore Colts against the New York Giants in Yankee Stadium in 1958 during the NFL Championship Game. The contest would not only define the careers of stars like Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry and Sam Huff, it would vault the NFL into the nation's consciousness like nothing that preceded it.
The first NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime was even more memorable for Sanford, since it became the final contest of his nine-year NFL career. Entering the game with a slightly injured knee, Sanford left the contest in the first quarter when Giants All-Pro left tackle Roosevelt Brown put the finishing touches on the appendage with a clean hit.

"But I still limped on the field to perform long snaps for punts and field goal attempts," Sanford said proudly.

The Colts won the game 23-17 when Alan Ameche scored from 1-yard out in the overtime period.

Love bug

While that NFL game is the one Sanford is asked about the most, there were hundreds more in his stellar career that took him from All-Stater at Fair Park to All-American at Louisiana Tech. And if Sanford hadn't fallen in love with a young woman working in Shreveport in 1946, his life might have turned out differently. Sanford was trying to decide between scholarship offers from LSU, Florida and Tech following his senior campaign, when he met Myrna Mims. He decided to play ball in Ruston to remain close to Mims and he would eventually lead Tech to a pair of Gulf States Conference championships under coach Joe Aillet.