Calkins: Death and ‘Jeopardy:’ A game show helps Memphian find joy in a hard day

By , Daily Memphian Updated: June 11, 2021 6:55 AM CT | Published: June 08, 2021 7:38 PM CT

On June 8, 1999, Verlinda Johnson Henning’s husband, Darrell, died at the age of 45. Exactly 22 years later, Henning appeared as reigning champion on “Jeopardy!” It was just a coincidence, of course. But it helped her find balance on a very difficult day.

Related story:

Memphian is ‘Jeopardy!’ champion June 7, comes in second June 8


Sign-up for Spirit of Memphis

Sign-up to receive monthly stories about the people who represent the spirit of our great city.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions


Jeopardy! Verlinda Johnson Henning Alex Trebek
Geoff Calkins

Geoff Calkins

Geoff Calkins has been chronicling Memphis and Memphis sports for more than two decades. He is host of "The Geoff Calkins Show" from 9-11 a.m. M-F on 92.9 FM. Calkins has been named the best sports columnist in the country five times by the Associated Press sports editors, but still figures his best columns are about the people who make Memphis what it is.


Reading comments and joining the conversation are some of the many benefits of subscribing. Join the conversation by clicking the View Comments button below. Not a subscriber? Click here. 

Our commenting policy can be viewed here

Calkins on Demand

Never miss an article. Receive all of Geoff’s stories as they’re published.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions