Janie Henderson was born in Houston on Friday, June 13, 1937, to Mildred and John Henderson, both originally from Illinois. She attended and graduated from Lamar High School in 1955. Janie then attended The University of Texas, graduating in 1959 with a BA in English and History, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and number one in her graduating class. Janie taught high school English at HISD for many years, and then earned a Master of Science degree at the University of Houston. She returned to HISD and served as a guidance counselor until she retired in 1997.
Janie was involved for many years in Delta Kappa Gama, an Honorary Teaching Society, and Kappa Alpha Theta, a UT society in Austin and Houston, as well as throughout the country. She was a member of the First and Memorial Drive Presbyterian Churches.
Janie loved animals, particularly puppy dogs. She had one or two by her side most of the days of her life. She also contributed yearly to the prime animal protection funds.
Janie also loved to travel. A few days after graduating from UT in 1959, she and two friends spent three months traveling through most of Europe. During the summer months between school work periods , Janie and friends would travel overseas. One of Janie's most ambitious trips was an around the world episode where the trip even stopped in Afghanistan, of all places.
After Janie retired, she married Dick Russell, who was retired from Exxon, and they tried to keep up the travel tradition as long as possible .
Janie's immediate family members in the Houston-Austin area include her brother , Tom Henderson, his wife Sandy, and his daughter Stacie Henderson Williams and husband Cliff, and Janie's husband Richard and his daughters Lisa Roper, Debbie Russell, and Tammy Russell.
Donations in Janie’s memory may be given to animal protection agencies.