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Published: Monday, 5/3/2004

Real estate agent formerly managed auto dealership

Howard John Henderson, former general manager of the Vin Devers car dealership in Sylvania and a real estate agent for the past two years, died Thursday at Flower Hospital. He was 46.

Mr. Henderson, a Sylvania resident, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. He died from complications of esophageal cancer, his brother, Phil Henderson, said.

"He always had a great business mind and a great business sense about him," his brother said. "He had an incredible wit, humor, and passion, and he was just so self-driven."

Mr. Henderson grew up in Oregon and graduated from Clay High School in 1976. He was hired almost immediately after high school as a manager of a clothing store in Toledo, his brother said. After two years in that business, Mr. Henderson began working in automobile sales.

He started his career at Vin Devers about 18 years ago and had been general manager of the dealership for about 10 years.

Family members said the dealership's sales soared during Mr. Henderson's time with the company.

Two years ago, Mr. Henderson left the car dealership and began working with his brother selling residential real estate in Sylvania.

"He was looking for a new horizon. He was looking for some change," his brother said. "He began selling homes almost immediately, which is unheard of for a new Realtor. It usually takes six months to get to know the market and get your feet wet."

Mr. Henderson married the former Leslie Carpenter on July 26, 2003, in Ashtabula, Ohio.

He was an avid fan of the Ohio State University Buckeyes and enjoyed his antique Corvette.

Surviving are his wife, Leslie; son, Aaron; daughter, Heather Sims; two granddaughters; mother, Madonna; and brother, Phil Henderson.

There will be a visitation today one hour prior to the funeral service, which begins at 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Oregon.

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