Rachel Orpha Henderson

Dec. 15, 1971-May 18, 2024

Rachel Orpha Henderson was born on Dec. 15, 1971, in Demin, New Mexico, to Charles Bonell Henderson and Moira Dawn Blackmore. Rachels’s arrival into this world marked the beginning of a remarkable journey. Named after her cherished grandmothers, Rachel (her father’s mother) and Orpha (her mother’s mother), her entrance was not without its challenges, as the umbilical cord posed a threat to her first breath. Yet, from that moment, she demonstrated a remarkable resilience to life challenges that defined her character throughout her life.

Rachel’s early years were marked by frequent relocations, as her Canadian mother, often overwhelmed by homesickness or challenging circumstances, sought new environments for her family to call home. Her formative years took her to various locales including Galeana and Chihuahua, Mexico; Deming and Silver City, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Alberta, Canada; Colorado, Utah; Baja, California; and Arizona.  

Born into a large family, with many siblings and bonus mothers, Rachel’s deep affection for her relatives illuminated every aspect of her life. She took great pride in teaching her younger brother how to read, a testament to her nurturing spirit. During her young adulthood, she treasured moments shared with her sisters Mary, Joy, Becca and her little brother Michael. She was renowned as a “finder” for her remarkable ability to locate lost items, and her passion for roller skating was unmatched. She excelled in the sport, finding joy and camaraderie at the roller rink, a place she adored spending time with her loved ones above all else.

At the age of 23, Rachel embraced motherhood with open arms, welcoming her precious daughter, Shareena BreAnne, into both her family and the world. Rachel’s adoration for her daughter knew no bounds, and she poured boundless love and care into her role as a mother. Shareena became not only her daughter but also her “everything,” her “world,” in Rachel’s own heartfelt words. 

After residing in Orem, Utah, Rachel and Shareena relocated to Cedar City, Utah, where they were later joined by Rachel’s devoted mother Moira. Eight years after Shareena’s earthly arrival, Rachel welcomed another precious addition to the family, a sweet baby girl whom she named Akaisha Moiriah Rachel. The love that enveloped their little family knew no bounds, as they cherished Akaisha beyond measure.

A third bundle of joy graced Rachel’s loving family several years later: a happy, baby boy named Traevon Michael. With his arrival, Rachel felt her family was whole and fulfilled, surrounded by love and joy.

Rachel was a woman of remarkable beauty, courage and vulnerability. Throughout her life she encountered numerous challenges, facing them with a grace and fortitude that seemed beyond human capacity. In 2007 tragedy struck her family, with the untimely passing of Rachel’s younger brother Michael. This event shook her world. The loss of her beloved brother, along with other challenges that life presented, tested her resilience in ways she never imagined. These events left an indelible mark on her and presented struggles that she bravely faced. The world was often unkind and unfair to Rachel, and she grappled with understanding the reasons behind life’s challenges.

Rachel’s capacity for love knew no bounds. She embraced everyone in her life with open arms, showing kindness and acceptance to all, regardless of their background or circumstances. Her gentle spirit and lack of judgment created an atmosphere of warmth and inclusivity, drawing people to her like moths to a flame. Rachel’s beauty and grace were not just external; they radiated from within, leaving a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Rachel had a deep appreciation for beauty, evident in her meticulously kept home, adorned with holiday decorations year-round. She adorned her space with photographs of her cherished children and wonders of nature. She loved horses, butterflies, and dragonflies. She loved Harleys and the Steelers. She loved hiking in mountains and hills in search of pretty rocks which she proudly displayed throughout her yard and home and shared with loved ones. Her favorite colors were “pretty much every color,” but especially purple, emerald green, turquoise, teal, silver, gold and all neon.

She passed away in the night in her new home in St George, Utah, the reasons for her departure unknown at this time. We take solace in believing that her mother, Moira (who passed away in May last year), and her brothers Michael and Bonell, as well as her sister Janette were there to guide her through the transition, leading her to a world of eternal happiness, kindness, and peace.

Rachel is survived by her three children Shareena, Akaisha and Traevon; her three sisters Mary Taylor (Howard), Joy Johnson (Mike) and ReBecca Henderson (James) and her faithful canine companion, Dexter. Survivors also include 16 nieces and nephews, nine grand-nieces and nephews (whom she enjoyed watching play), many more nieces and nephews she had hoped to get to know better, her 4 bonus mothers and 19 more siblings whom she missed and loved.

A viewing will be held on Wednesday, May 29, from 5-6 p.m., at Serenity Funeral Home, 1316 S 400 E. #A5, St George, followed by a service at 6 p.m.

Family and friends are invited to click here to share tributes online. Arrangements and memorial tree planting by Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah, 435-986-9100.

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