Portia (Walter) Hendershot
May 25, 1939 – September 5, 2019
Portia (Walter) Hendershot, 80 years of age passed away Thursday September 5, 2019. She was born May 25, 1939 in New Albany to the late Raymond “Tubby” and Mary Lynne Kennady. Portia was a retired sales associate and decorator for Schmitt Furniture and a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She was preceded in death by her husband Philip G. Hendershot, sister Roberta “Bobbie” Walter, brother Thomas Walter, and sister-in-law Barbara (Horn) Walter.
She is survived by her loving children, Tish Hendershot (Mill Valley, CA) and Philip Hendershot (Linda) of Jeffersonville, sister Letty Walter (New Albany), grandchildren Alyssa (Jeffersonville), Alec (Manassas, VA), and Abby Hendershot (New York, NY), sister-in-law Cathy Detenber (Steve) of New Albany, cousins Claudia “Binky” McGloshen, Erin (McGloshen) Huff, Kevin McGloshen, Larry Walter, Bonnie Kruer, Janus Ashton, Rita Davis, Jeffrey Hess and Debbie Loughmiller, nieces Lynne Darneal and Emily Detenber, and nephews Travis Detenber and Joey Darneal.
Portia grew up in New Albany at the corner of Vincennes Street and Charlestown Road, where her family’s business The Hilltop Cafe thrived for many years. She was a 1957 graduate of Providence High School who married her high school sweetheart Phil Hendershot in 1958. The young couple initially made their home in Clarksville, welcoming son Philip Thomas in 1959 before moving to New Albany in 1963; daughter Letitia Louise “Tish” arrived in 1964. Portia and Phil lived in their New Albany home the rest of their lives.
Portia and Phil were active socially and both respectable golfers at the New Albany Country Club, where they made life-long friends who would share in family gatherings and group vacations. Phil worked in the automobile business with positions at Coyle Chevrolet, Dan Sillings Buick, and Foster Callam Ford. Portia managed the family’s finances and focused her efforts on raising the kids.
In addition to being an amazing mother and household manager, Portia possessed creativity that she used later in life when the kids were grown. She was a skilled seamstress, creating custom-themed sweatshirts and other clothing for family and friends. She enjoyed gardening and creating flower arrangements as well. In the 1990s, Portia went to work outside the home for the first time since age 20! As a sales associate with Schmitt Furniture, she quickly built a list of repeat customers, and voluntarily started to arrange the furniture in homelike settings. She was quickly promoted to Store Decorator, which gave her a creative outlet that she greatly enjoyed. The 1990s also included the joy of a new role as a grandmother.
Despite health challenges in her later years, Portia maintained her sense of grace and her unwavering concern for others. She will always be known for her gentle nature and infectious smile, but especially for her constant devotion to being a mother, which she always described as “her life’s work”.
The family extends a warm thank you for all the cards and well-wishes she and family have received from around the country. We would also like to acknowledge the tender care Portia received at Norton Cancer Institute-Jeffersonville, and the Norton Hospital Transitional Care Unit 4J. In addition to close family support, two extraordinary women nurtured her body and soul as angel confidants with numerous hours across Portia’s two year illness. We love you Pam Grieb and Shirley Weiss!
Visitation will be 2:00 to 8:00 pm Tuesday at Kraft Funeral Service, 708 E. Spring Street, New Albany, Indiana. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 am Wednesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Albany with bereavement luncheon immediately following.
A celebration of life will be on Friday, September 13th from 5:30 to 9:30 pm at the Calumet Club, 1614 E. Spring St. in New Albany. RSVP: text/call (415)748-0314
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Providence House/ Guerin Woods in Georgetown, Indiana. http://www.guerininc.org/ Portia shared a special devotion to the Sisters of Providence, and especially the late Sister Barbara Zeller the foundress of the Guerin Woods ministries. Portia participated in the interior decorating of the initial buildings on the campus.
Online condolences may be made at www.kraftfuneralservice.net
- Visitation Tuesday, September 10, 2019
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, September 11, 2019
- Celebration of Life Friday, September 13, 2019
Portia (Walter) Hendershot
John ‘Jordy’ Struck
September 7, 2019
Tish and Phil
My heart aches for your loss, but also rejoices when I reflect on the joy your mother brought to so many, including myself. Portia was quick to share her great love and pride for both of you, for all her family.
I was fortunate to work alongside Portia, more than anything I was blessed to know one of God’s angels here on earth. I struggle to think of anyone that set a greater example of grace, integrity, selflessness and compassion to everyone they came into contact with. There are a few in my life that touched me in such a way. Portia was always positive, encouraging, honest to a fault, passionate in always doing the right thing.
Much of the growth and success Schmitt Furniture experienced during her time was in a large part due to your mother’s talents and efforts. Portia was tireless and passionate, a joy to be around.
More than just an valuable associate I came to cherish Portia as a dear friend. I will remember with a smile time spent with Portia. I cherish the memories of her quick wit, her laughter and the good times we shared attending many furniture markets, building a friendship that is and will always be.
September 7, 2019
Growing up near the top of the hill on Vincennes Street, it was always a fun time when we kids got together. Portia was the youngest of the group. There are many happy memories, as Letty can attest.
I will offer Mass for Portia and her family.
Fr Denis Quinkert, OSB
St Meinrad, IN