By Brecken Branstrator
Lecil Henderson, who launched his eponymous jewelry business in 1990, died Sunday night. He is seen here at the 2020 Select Show in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo credit: David Stewart Brown Photography)
Charlotte, N.C.—Lecil Henderson, founder of The Henderson Collection by Lecil, died of a heart attack Sunday night.

He was 62.

While he was in high school and college, Henderson studied under his father, who was an account executive for an Italian jewelry design firm.

After he graduated, Henderson joined the company full time and, eventually, created an Italian import division.

Not long after, he traveled to Europe to learn from master artisans and expand his skill set, during which time he immersed himself in every aspect of the industry while also developing a business plan for his own company.

Henderson launched his eponymous fine jewelry collection in 1990, offering designs that combine traditional craftsmanship and modern components.

The “Venetian” collection in particular has been very successful for the company, according to its website, offering diamonds and colored stones in satin, polished or matte gold and adorned with 18-karat yellow, black, white or rose gold, with the black gold especially popular with customers.

According to a statement posted by his company on social media, Henderson loved the jewelry industry and the friends he made within it as well as making clients happy with his jewelry designs.

The company called him a “true road warrior” and a generous man who treated everyone like family.

It was this kindness that many in the industry also remembered about him in the many posts shared on social media, with several calling him a true gentleman and recalling his warmth in

He was also known for his gregarious nature and being quick to laugh or make others laugh.

“He will not only be an immense loss to our office/family, but also to our industry and his many friends across the nation. A ‘bigger-than-life’ personality that we all loved so much,” the company said.

“We will miss you Lecil, but we’ll be sure to indulge in a few red-top martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives in your honor.”

Henderson was a proud father of three and husband to Kathryn; the two would have celebrated their 40th anniversary in June. He coached soccer and little league teams, and encouraged his kids to enjoy traveling and the outdoors, and had a love of golf, skiing, tennis, camping, hiking and whitewater rafting.

He also was active in his community, serving as president of Leadership Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission and Charlotte Trolley Inc. He volunteered at the Room at the Inn shelter and with the Wake Forest Alumni Association.

In the industry, he was also a co-founder and board member of JCK’s Luxury show.

His jewelry company was a member of many professional organizations, including the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, the Jewelers 24K Club of Southern California, Jewelers Board of Trade and the state jewelers’ associations in California, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

The company also regularly contributed to Jewelers for Children and was one of the first American Gem Society registered suppliers.

A private service will be held for immedate family, but his wife, Kathryn, said they plan to hold a service to celebrate his life when it safe to do so.

They are also asking anyone who wishes to make a donation in his name to consider A Child’s Place, an organization that works to reduce the impact of homelessness on children and their education.

Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication with service information. 

TAGS:   Obituaries
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