Two Hong Kong orchid trees were planted along Lake Morton this afternoon in memory of civic and business leaders David Henderson and Edie Yates Henderson.

The trees were dedicated during a short, solemn ceremony that took place one year and a day after the couple were murdered in their nearby home in what police said was a random attack.

The trees were donated by the League of Women Voters of Polk County in cooperation with the Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department.

After the brief ceremony, the Hendersons’ sons — Todd Baylis (in the dark shirt) and Will Henderson (white shirt), accompanied by Todd’s wife Sarah — shoveled dirt into the holes where city parks employees had planted the trees.

Todd Baylis said they chose the tree because its bloom resembles orchids, a flower his mother loved.

Edie Yates Henderson, 67, was a member of the Lakeland City Commission from 2006 to 2018, serving three terms, the maximum allowed. A certified public accountant and financial planner, she was managing partner at Baylis & Co. accounting firm.

David Henderson, 64, was a lawyer-turned-commercial developer via his company, Henderson Properties.

As the sons finished shoveling, the skies opened up with a downpour, similar to the rain that marked a candlelight vigil held for the Hendersons nearly a year ago across the street from today’s ceremony. 


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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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1 Comment

  1. After her and her husband were attacked and killed, I thought the commission would do something to mark her service to the city but, sadly, she only got a couple of trees…how fleeting the recognition of service to our city is. Guess we just had more important things to do than show our appreciation for her service.

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