Nadine H. Henderson, 96, formerly of Northborough


Nadine H. HendersonFormer Northborough Middle School Principal

Kennebunk, ME – Nadine (Mangan) Henderson passed away on March 24, 2024, at her home at Huntington Common in Kennebunk, Maine.

Nadine was born in 1927 in Worcester, MA, the daughter of Michael J. Mangan and Laura (Toner) Mangan. Her parents were from Irish immigrant families that settled in Clinton, MA.

She attended the Saint Paul elementary school in Worcester and began a strong relationship with many of Worcester’s Catholic nuns. They enabled her not only to excel academically but to master vocal and acting performance. Her nun mentors propelled her to seek higher education despite her family background of having two parents who never went to high school. She graduated from Saint Peter’s High School in Worcester and Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee. In 1951, she received her Master’s in Education from Clark University.

While at Saint Peter’s High School, she met an upperclassman, J. Paul Henderson, who convinced her to give him her photo. Paul enlisted in the army in 1942 as a private and left in 1946 as a lieutenant. He carried the portrait with him through the Normandy invasion and across the battlefields of France and Germany. Paul and Nadine married in 1951 and moved to Southern California.

After living near Los Angeles for nine years and teaching at a public elementary school in North Hollywood, Nadine moved to Northborough, MA in 1960 and made it her home for the next 50 years. She and her husband were founding members of Saint Bernadette parish in 1960. A devoted parishioner, she served as head of religious education and as choir director for the young church.

In 1970, she started teaching in Northborough Public Schools and was the first head of the English department at the newly built Northborough Middle School. She served in that capacity for more than two decades. She was known for having high expectations of her students. Her mission was to make sure every Northborough student learned the writing skills necessary to be set up for lifetime success. She served as principal of the school from 1992 to 1996.

After her retirement as principal, she moved on to the Saint Bernadette elementary school where she served as head of the school committee until 2008. In addition to her work at Saint Bernadette’s, she was on the faculty at Anna Maria College where she taught graduate students as a lecturer in education. She retired from teaching at the age of 84.

She was predeceased by her husband, J. Paul Henderson, formerly of Northborough, and her brother, Kenneth J. Mangan, formerly of Shrewsbury.

She is survived by her daughters Celeste Cacaci of Winthrop, MA, Leandra Robichaud of Kennebunkport, ME, sons Paul (Lisa) Henderson of Kennebunkport, ME and Robert (Laura) Henderson of Boston, MA. She is also survived by grandsons Michael (Leila) Robichaud of London, England, Ian (Hayley) Henderson of Los Angeles, CA, and granddaughters Rowan (Gabriel) Baker of Encino, CA, Jacqueline Robichaud of Everett, MA, Emily Robichaud of Winthrop, MA, Nicola Henderson of Chicago, IL, Fiona Henderson of New York City, and Kayla Henderson of Madrid, Spain. She leaves two great-grandsons, Theo Baker and Oak Robichaud, and dozens of nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass is planned for 11:30 AM on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Saint Bernadette Church , 266 Main Street, Northborough. Burial will follow at Howard Street Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions in Nadine’s memory be made to Saint Bernadette School Annual Fund.

Arrangements are under the care of Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main St., Northborough. To offer a condolence to Nadine’s family, please visit




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