Brenton Gray Henderson, 30, of East Greenwich, passed away unexpectedly Nov. 5. Brenton was a beloved son and brother; cherished uncle, nephew, cousin and friend; talented and award-winning filmmaker; karaoke all-star; passionate musician; natural comedian; comic genius; and a trendsetter in the art of contemporary laughter and merriment.
Brenton made people laugh. Really laugh. That hysterical, sides-aching, tears-rolling-down-their-cheeks kind of laughter. The one that makes your heart work overtime and your smile stretch ear-to-ear. Brenton was one-of-a-kind. His impersonations, impromptu monologues, films and speeches were the masterpieces of a creative genius. Among his many works, performances, and Youtube videos, he will especially be remembered for his award-winning short “Edward meets Charles” and the best man speech from his younger brother’s wedding (when he ragged on his brother for stealing Christmas from him by being born on Christmas Day).
Brenton was one to embrace the moment. He often broke out in song, serenading those riding with him on long car rides or in the next aisle at the grocery store with Elvis or the Beatles. He was never afraid to sing in the shower or to himself or in front of people he didn’t know. He was never afraid to look foolish if it might make someone else laugh.
Brenton was a true person. He was sensitive and observant. He gave honest compliments and genuine hugs. Everything he decided to learn he set out with determination to master: a piano piece, a video game, or a film script. He defied materialism. When others would buy gifts, he got a kick out of re-gifting, recording songs, making t-shirt puns, or anything that allowed the gift to carry deeper meaning than the thing itself. He taught us to see the humor in conformity.
Brenton was a film student at the Community College of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island. His memory will be cherished forever by his many survivors, several who were the “stars” of his films: His mother Charlene (Greenwood) Henderson of East Greenwich; his brothers and sister Joshua Gray Henderson and his wife Meghan of Naples, Italy, Christine Sauchuk and her husband Jared of Uncasville, Conn., Robert G. Henderson of Warwick, Michael Henderson of Orlando, Fla.; his nephew and niece Michael and Brianna Henderson of Orlando, Fla.; his aunts and uncles Doug Greenwood and Elaine DeSilva of Coventry, David St. Germain and Virginia Greenwood of Warwick, Linda Greenwood of East Greenwich, Jeanne Bowden of East Greenwich, CarolAnn and Gregory Fisch of San Diego, Calif., Janet Cornell of East Greenwich, David Cornell of Coventry, Brent and Gail Richardson of Clayton, N.Y., Carole Elias of Warwick; his cousins Jennifer Swinburne of Smithfield, Derek Swinburne of Warwick, Jason, Melanie, Noelle, Hannah, Abbie and Jake Greenwood of Fredericksburg, Va., Harrison St. Germain of Manassas Park, Va., Cameron St. Germain of Washington, D.C., Alexina Cather, Eli McCoy and Hardin McCoy of Oakland, Calif., Ryan Cather of San Diego, Calif. Austin Carr, Mark Matteson, Caleb Carr and Dylan Matteson of Coventry, Matthew Carr of Warwick, Perry Cornell, Mary Conway and Audriana Conway of Coventry, Daniel Cornell of Coventry, Paige, Michael and Avery Moore of Warwick, Chris Richardson of Clayton, N.Y., Lisa Carter and family of Conn., Scott and Karen Elias and family of Hope, Dennis and Pam Barlow and family of North Kingstown, his dog and film star Zoe Henderson, and his loving and loyal friends – a list far too long to be recounted here. Brenton was predeceased by his father, Robert Gray Henderson, and his four grandparents, Eugene and Genevieve Greenwood, and Raymond and Anita Henderson. Brenton was generous without pretense.
Brenton was an organ and tissue donor and his death became a gift of life and recovery for others in need. Calling hours: 5 to 8 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 12, at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main Street, East Greenwich. Funeral Thurs., Nov. 13, at 11 a.m. at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Division Street, East Greenwich. Burial will follow at the First Lutheran Cemetery in East Greenwich. Contributions in Brenton’s memory may be made to the Community College of Rhode Island’s Student Film Festival sponsored by CCRI’s New Media Group. Brenton won an award for his experimental film “Edward Meets Charles,” during the inaugural festival in 2013, which Brenton helped organize.
Flower photo credit: Posies.