Caren Burford-Henry was very special, and Remington College was proud to have her as one of their own.
Caren died suddenly on Friday, November 26, 2010, at the age of 42. She was a Medical Billing and Coding (MBC) Program Chair and a 10-year employee at our Dallas College, starting with the College in July 2001 and moving to MBC in October 2007. Caren touched the lives of many students and coworkers, but that was just a part of who she was.
Caren fed the homeless every Sunday. She regularly adopted the families of students in need to be sure they could have a happy holiday season. She worked with, and for, her fellow man and woman with an ever-present smile, a deep faith and trust in God, and a genuine belief that all things are possible. Here are the remembrances of some of the many people Caren Burford-Henry touched in life:
From Kerri Anderson, a former student:
“Mrs. Henry was my instructor at Remington and she was a great person and inspiration to everyone…. She loved teaching her students at Remington and encouraging them every day to do their best and to never quit and to never give up. They can always do whatever they put their mind to. She was the best inspiration that I had in my life when I was going through school, if it hadn’t been for her, I would not have made it through. She will be greatly missed. We Love you Mrs. Henry and our prayers are with the family.” *
From Emily Smith, another former student:
“I can only hope to one day obtain the love, strength in spirit and empathy Mrs. Caren-Burford Henry possessed. She had unconditional compassion for friends and strangers and was the definition of what a true human being should be.”
From Dallas Instructor Esther Young:
“(Ms. Henry) was not only my instructor at Remington College, but she was also a co-worker and friend. We at Remington are an extended family, so we have lost someone that was very special to all of us. Her legacy will truly live on through not only through her family but through us as well.” *
From Dallas Career Services Representative Carlita Jones, a personal friend and colleague:
“Ms. Henry was kind, dependable, compassionate and always giving of herself with no hesitation. Always smiling, and willing to go the extra mile to make things happen. She was a leader who led by example, a mentor, and a counselor. She will be greatly missed.”
Staff members, students, and former students joined family and friends in remembering Caren at her funeral service. Said Dallas Director of Career Services Renee Dowhaniuk:
“The church was full, and you could see the love Caren inspired with the staff and her students. She constantly worked to help the students in her program learn to appreciate their value and to have pride and respect for themselves and others. And for me, she was a very special friend. Her life was an example for the rest of us to follow. She always put the needs of everyone else before her own. Her laughter would light up a room, and her hugs brought comfort and reassurance. She never hesitated to say whatever needed to be said, good or bad, and she wanted to draw the best out of everyone and help them realize their full potential. The church service was a celebration of a life that helped with God’s work every day.”
Dallas Campus President Skip Walls recently reflected on Caren’s passion and contributions over her career at Remington College:
“Caren stood for all the right things. No one should be involved in career education unless they are 100% committed to the development and well-being of their students. There is no room for compromise with that premise. Caren went far beyond the call of duty to make sure her students were placed in the best possible positions to realize success. It wasn’t just the things she said; her deeds consistently gave notice that she was an educator/philanthropist on a mission. We did not agree on every approach in running her department, but we could always agree on the desired outcome, and that was the best interests of the MBC students. The righteous indignation on display frustrated me, at times, but she was leveraged by a higher calling than the rest of us. When I realized what was going on, my respect for her grew exponentially. She had a rare (but valuable) blend of intelligence, wit, and work ethic that will be virtually impossible to replace. She will be missed.”
Caren Michelle Burford-Henry’s legacy will live on in the lives and futures of the many people, from all walks of life, who were privileged to know her. We applaud her many contributions to our College and its students, we will miss her positive and inspirational presence, and we extend our deepest condolences to her entire family.
* These quotes are as published at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?n=caren-michelle-burford-henry&pid=146887075. Reproduced with the permission of www.legacy.com and the individuals quoted.