Cover photo for Cornelius Langston Henderson, III's Obituary
Cornelius Langston Henderson, III Profile Photo
1941 Cornelius L. Henderson, III 2023

Cornelius Langston Henderson, III

September 16, 1941 — December 30, 2023


Cornelius, son of Cornelius Langston Henderson Jr. and Bernice Rae (Jones) Henderson, was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 16, 1941. Cornelius, affectionately known at Butch, graduated from Central High School. He completed two years of college at Tennessee State University, where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha. Butch faithfully served his country, enlisting in the Army for ammunition distribution in the Korean War. At the end of his military service, Butch returned safely home to Detroit.


In April 1970, Butch married Elma Elaine Carey. During their marriage they had a son, Cornelius Langston Henderson III. Cornelius III was the apple of his eye, and Butch passionately referred to him as “Poncho.” Butch remained close friends with Elma, and they supported one another in raising their son with love and care.


Butch began working for United Parcel Service and as with all things in his life, he was deeply committed until his retirement. Throughout those meaningful years, he was also devoted to his life partner, Rhoda Hurley. Together, for more than 40 years, they enjoyed Friday night dinners, traveling together, going to dinner dances with friends, and spending time with family. Butch and Rhoda were true companions in life and love.


Butch was known as an outgoing and classy gentleman who relished spending time with the people he loved. He especially enjoyed playing golf with friends, exercising at the gym, and volunteering with his fraternity. Butch was a devoted member of Our Lady Queen of Sorrows for many years, and served as an usher.


Butch went home to be with the Lord on December 30, 2023. He is survived by his son, Cornelius Langston Henderson IV (Kamilah), life partner Rhoda Hurley, granddaughter Lailah, cousins Leslie Cade (Walter), Michael Jones (Lori), Dolores Jones-Sanders (Gary), nephews Charles A. Henderson Jr., Eric P. Blannon, Anthony Blannon, Michael L. Henderson (Janelle). Butch is also survived by a host of other family and friends.


He is preceded in death by his mother, Bernice Rae (Jones) Henderson; his father, Cornelius Langston Henderson Jr.; his sister, Linda Camille Blannon; his brother, Charles Arlington Henderson; his uncle George Allen Jones.


Butch lived a blessed and storied life and brought joy Family and friends will cherish the memory of Butch’s generosity. There was never a birthday or holiday that passed, when he did not send a beautiful card, flowers, or fresh fruit. Butch was always ready, with a gift in hand, to celebrate life’s special moments. He wanted his family and friends to know that he loved him and would do anything for them. Butch will be greatly missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Cornelius Langston Henderson, III, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 11, 2024

9:00am - 9:00 pm (Eastern time)

James H. Cole Home For Funerals - NW Chapel

16100 Schaefer Hwy, Detroit, MI 48235

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Funeral Service

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish

13500 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park, MI 48237

Family Hour will begin at 9:00am

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Friday, January 12, 2024

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