James "Bill" Henry

Obituary of James "Bill" William Henry

Bill Henry lived an amazing, accomplished and generous life. James William Henry was born in August 1926 to an economically poor but spiritually rich sharecropper family in southeastern Oklahoma, the first son after three sisters. Bill was the first to attend college, his brother Bob was the first to graduate, and his second brother Hank graduated from Cal Berkeley with a Ph.D. Aside from his family, Bill loved airplanes, work and church. He and his family were literally “Okies,” fleeing the Dust Bowl in the late 1930s for work in California on truck farms, Oakland’s shipyards and whatever other work they could find to support the family. After earning his GED, Bill joined the Navy and served in the Pacific in the closing year of World War II, then was called back into the Air Force to work on jet fighters in the Korean war. This coincided with the early days of his career in maintenance at American Airlines, a career that spanned almost 50 years, starting with prop-driven DC-3s and ending with transcontinental Boeing 757s. He had a side job as a “fashion” model, appearing in American Airlines print advertisements in his mechanic’s blues with other employees. His happiness and goodness shine through in those photographs. He was also a hero. One evening in the 1970s when a bomb threat was called in on a 747 already at its gate at DFW Airport, Bill ordered everyone off the jet and manned the cockpit while a ground crew backed the suspect airplane away far from the terminal. He loved First Baptist Church Hurst, where he served for many years as a deacon, and where his wife Dorothy Jean served in various youth ministry and teaching positions. His Baptist aversion to gambling was slightly flexible on a trip in the late 1970s to the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada. Walking through the casino, he could not resist acquiring 10 silver dollars to try the slots “just one time.” On the third pull of the handle, he hit a noisy $300 jackpot. Reportedly he returned home to Bedford several days later with a painful case of “casino” shoulder. Bill lovingly raised three children, Steve, Warren and Jeanne and worked a second part-time job selling building materials in the 1970s so they could attend college and emerge debt-free. Sadly in 1975 the family lost their mother Dorothy Jean to cancer after Bill nursed her and loved her through four years of treatment and surgeries. However, a relatively young, good man like him wouldn’t be alone long, and several years later he met and married the second woman of his heart, Lois, and they proceeded to have a joyful life together for four decades. They delighted in one another daily. Through his 93 years, Bill loved and cared for his children, their spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews on both his and Lois’s side of the family. He was happiest when surrounded by a noisy houseful of friends and family. Despite age and old injuries wearing him down in his final years, he was unfailingly positive, happy and appreciative of Lois’s loving care and everyone’s concern for him. His constant response to questions about his health was a vigorous thumbs up and “A-OK.” His smile never wavered. He is survived by nurse/wife/angel Lois Henry of Hurst, Texas, and his children Steve Henry and wife Linda of Aledo; Warren Henry and wife Stephanie of Nichols Hills, Oklahoma; and Jeanne Henry of Bedford; as well as step-daughter Debbie Bollinger and husband Glen of Flower Mound; step-son Don Tigert and wife Carmen of Frisco; and step-daughter Stephanie Osyda and husband Ed of Prosper. In addition, his heart and legacy live on in his grandchildren Mikel Henry Siegmund, Tanner Henry, Regan Henry, Delaney Henry, Branson Bollinger, Brendon Bollinger, Lacy Bollinger, Jack Loeb and Eric Osyda, and their spouses. Finally, he delighted in his great-grandchildren Mason and Ty Siegmund; Ronan, Cora and Waylynn Bollinger; Ellie and Isabella Loeb; and Olivia and Gunner Osyda. Finally, he has numerous nieces, nephews and friends who adore him. He is also survived by his beloved sister-in-law Nancy Henry Reynolds and husband Curt of Port Hueneme, California. Bill Henry was preceded in death by wife Dorothy Jean Ward Henry, his parents Robert Edward Henry and Effie Olivia Henry Williams, three sisters and two brothers. Those who knew Bill Henry best are hard-pressed to imagine how he could have lived a more accomplished and admirable life. His kindness and generosity blessed many, and he was well-loved. His welcome to heaven was that of a good and faithful servant. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, December 21st, 2pm at Forest Ridge Memorial Park Chapel, 8525 Mid Cities Blvd. North Richaland Hills, Texas 76182. Interment will be held Monday, December 23rd, 10am, at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park, 5725 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, TX 76034.

Funeral Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Forest Ridge Memorial Park Chapel
8525 Mid Cities Blvd.
North Richland Hills, Texas, United States


10:00 am - 10:30 am
Monday, December 23, 2019
Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park
5725 Colleyville Blvd.
Colleyville, Texas, United States
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James "Bill"