On April 16, 2018, Tom Henderson left peacefully to explore a new wilderness. The GLLT joins Tom’s family and many friends in mourning the loss of our first and only Executive Director.
Serving in many positions in Maine and New Hampshire, Tom Henderson was a leading proponent for conservation, water quality, and environmental protection for over 30 years. He worked tirelessly on issues of environmental policy and protection of the natural world; for 15 years as the Executive Director of the Greater Lovell Land Trust.
Last fall, Tom was sidelined with what was expected to be a routine medical procedure. As more serious symptoms emerged, Tom, in typical fashion, worked through surgery, physical therapy, and medical treatments with the expectation of returning to his beloved woodlands by the time the ice went out of the lakes. He never doubted he would be back in the woods, back at high school games, back in the kitchen whipping up recipes from his days as a chef—and making new memories with his cherished son.
Sadly, Tom’s health deteriorated over the winter. In early spring, he returned home to spend his last days where his son, Aidan, his devoted partner and caretaker, Teresa, and friends and family could be at his side.
The first walk that I took with the GLLT education program was also the first time that I met Tom Henderson.
We walked that day along the Kezar River; noted the tracks, the dens, the water, and the woods. We heard about forestry and management plans and the particular meaning that the property had both for use and access and for protection and conservation. Tom was a natural teacher. He delighted in sharing what he knew and fanning the sparks of interest and deeper thought that he kindled in the GLLT summer programs.
The energy that Tom brought to that first walk played out again and again. Walks in the woods, berry picking in the fen, development planning, and writing. His writing often revisited his profound belief—the land is our legacy and our refuge, and we must protect it for our children.
We have all been privileged to know Tom Henderson. Our hearts hurt at this difficult time, but we know that his passion and love for the land lives in the legacy that he leaves with us: his vision, his work, and his beloved child.