Tanya Henderson was born in Chicago, IL on January 6, 1957, to Robert and Aratha Calloway. Her father, Robert Calloway, was in the Air Force which allowed for her parents and brother Michael to live in various countries and states throughout her childhood such as Alaska, France, South Carolina, Washington, Oklahoma, and Texas. Her childhood gave way to Tanya’s love for traveling and experiencing all that life has to offer. She spent many years traveling with Riley, Valerie, and Alexis. At an early age, she converted to Catholicism. After moving to Arlington, she joined St. Vincent De Paul’s Catholic Church and remained active until her health began to fail. While an active member of the church, she held various instructor roles for the children who were completing their sacraments as well as a dedicated Sunday school teacher.
After graduating from Trimble Tech High School in Ft. Worth, she attended and graduated college from Prairie View A&M University in December of 1979 with a Bachelor of Administration in Accounting. Later that month, she wed her late husband Riley Henderson. After graduating from Prairie View, she began working for the Internal Revenue Service in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as a Revenue Agent. In 1988, Tanya left the IRS in Oklahoma City and joined the Dallas Team as a Joint Committee Coordinator. She exceled as a Joint Committee Coordinator and began working on Large Cases. Before retirement, she was a training instructor, later becoming a Large Case Team Coordinator and at retirement was a Large & Mid-size Business Revenue Agent Team Coordinator. Tanya retired from the IRS on October 31, 2017, after 38 years of service.
While living in Oklahoma, Tanya was initiated in 1983 through the Chi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Tanya later found a home in the Kappa Zeta Chapter of Dallas, where she was an active member for 33 years. She served Zeta Phi Beta Sorority on every level including International Treasurer, International Budget Director for two administrations, Southern Regional Treasurer, Southern Region Budget Director, and local chapter Treasurer. She was a life member. In the 1990s, Tanya was the co-author of Kappa Zeta’s Stork’s Nest Charity Fund of Dallas, a 501©3 tax exempt entity which is a community-based, prenatal, health promotion program for low-income pregnant women.
Tanya wore many hats for many different organizations but the hat that she wore most proudly was that of being a mother to Alexis and Valerie. Tanya and Riley adopted both girls from the Edna Gladney Center for Adoption, where Tanya later served on the board. Valerie was born and adopted in June of 1990 and Alexis was born and adopted in January of 1995. She enjoyed watching her daughters and granddaughters interact within the sorority youth groups. Her favorite activity to attend was the annual Miss Blue Revue Scholarship Pageant. She was very proud when her daughter, Valerie, was presented in Miss Blue Revue in 2008.
Tanya did not believe in giving the girls anything less than the world, the moon and the stars. She allowed them to experience as much of life as she did during her childhood, while constantly preaching about the importance of being a well-rounded individual. Tanya absolutely loved both of her daughters and went above and beyond in every aspect of their lives. Though she prided herself on being a great mother, there was one more title that she loved even more and that was being “Nan.” Tanya became “Nan” in September of 2012 when Brooklyn was born, and it was truly a role that Tanya was put on earth for. Tanya leaves behind 5 grandchildren: Brooklyn, Sydney, Caiden, Kingston and Cairo. There was not a function or event as a mother or grandmother that Tanya missed. While undergoing a kidney transplant and all the appointments that entailed, she would even rearrange her schedule so that she could make things such as sports games, dance recitals, and grandparents’ days. On random days, she promised the kids that she would just show up even if she was 300 miles away.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Riley, and her mother, Aratha Calloway.
Tanya is survived by her daughters, Valerie and Alexis Henderson; her father, Robert Calloway; her brother, Michael Calloway (Antoinette); her aunt, Freddie Flowers; all 5 grandchildren, several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members. She also leaves to mourn the sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority who loved her dearly. Tanya will be missed by so many who enjoyed her warmth, kind heart, giving nature, hilarious comments, facial expressions, and her positive outlook. Tanya’s life was well lived and it was a job well done.