James R. “Jim” Henry

A memorial service for James R. Henry, (“Jim”), 82, Lawrence will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 21, 2016, at First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street. He passed away Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at Neuvant House of Lawrence. Inurnment will follow with military honors in Pioneer Cemetery on the University of Kansas campus.

Jim has been a resident of Lawrence since 1967, when he moved here to attend the University of Kansas after serving on active and reserve duty for a number of years as a Naval Aviator and as an Air Intelligence Officer.

Captain Henry first enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 4, 1952, at Minneapolis, Minnesota. He completed Recruit Training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, followed by completion of Airman Preparatory School at Norman, Oklahoma, and Naval Aviation Electronics School at Memphis, Tennessee. He then was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, as an Aviation Electronics Technician.

In August 1954, Captain Henry began the course of instruction in the Naval School of Preflight, Pensacola, Florida. As a Naval Aviation Cadet he completed all phases of flight training which included aircraft carrier landing qualification, and he was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator in April 1956, at Hutchison, Kansas. He then served in Utility Squadron Five at Atsugi, Japan; Jet Transitional Training Unit, Olathe, Kansas, All Weather Fighter Squadron Three and Heavy Attack Squadron 16, both at San Diego, California; and in Heavy Attack Training Unit Pacific at Whidbey Island, Washington. Shortly after, he was assigned to the new Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi, where he served as Personnel Officer. Subsequently, he completed the Armed Forces Air Intelligence Training Center course of instruction at Denver, Colorado, and was assigned as the Air Wing Intelligence Officer for Attack Carrier Air Wing 19, operating in the Western Pacific and Tonkin Gulf in the South China Sea, off Vietnam, aboard the U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard. He subsequently served in the same capacity aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, and later, as Assistant Officer in Charge of the Fleet Air Intelligence Support Center at Lemoore, California.

Upon leaving active duty in 1967, Jim enrolled at the University of Kansas where he completed the Bachelor of Science in Education degree, the Master of Science in Education degree, and the Doctor of Higher Education degree, which was awarded in 1976. During that time, he was also employed by the University as Assistant Registrar for the Office of Admissions and Records and later, as Director of the Office of Veterans Services.
From 1967 to 1985, Captain Henry served as an Intelligence Officer in Naval Intelligence units in Olathe, Kansas; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; and in a Cruiser/Destroyer unit in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was recalled to active duty in 1973 to lead a debriefing team for Operation Homecoming, the return of Vietnam POW’s. He served as Commanding Officer of a Defense Documents unit and a Naval Investigative Service unit, both in Kansas City, Missouri, and as Commanding Officer of an Intelligence Volunteers Training unit in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following that, he served as the Reserve Intelligence Area Coordinator, Area 10, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he directed the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program for the Midwest United States. Captain Henry retired from the U.S. Navy on July 1, 1985, after serving the Navy and United States for more than 33 years.
In 1979, Jim joined the University of Kansas Placement Center where he directed career placement programs for the Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Fine Arts colleges. While at the Placement Center, he assisted hundreds of students with their career and employment ambitions. He was selected by the 1992 Senior Class to receive the Citation for Leadership and Achievement in Student Services (CLASS) Award. He was also appointed to the Graduate Faculty as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology department.
Jim retired from the University of Kansas in 1997 and, in 1999, was elected to a four-year term on the Lawrence City Commission. He served as Mayor of Lawrence from 2000 to 2001, and retired from the City Commission on April 8, 2003. While Mayor, Jim was instrumental in bringing to the City in 2000, the Lawrence Transit bus system. Buses continue to serve the City today.

Throughout his many years in Lawrence, Jim made service to the community a top priority. He was a member of the Jaycees and the Luncheon Optimists, worked on United Way campaigns and was a past president of Warm Hearts of Douglas County. He also served on the Board of Directors of Health Care Access, was President of Lawrence Rotary Club where he was honored with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Rotary’s highest honor. He was also involved in Habitat for Humanity. Jim was very committed to service to First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, where he held many leadership positions and chaired a number of committees and fundraising efforts. He co-chaired ticket sales for Lawrence Memorial Hospital “Hearts of Gold” events. In addition, Jim founded the Santa Fe Trail Leavenworth chapter of The Military Officers of America Association (MOAA). He served as the president of that chapter and of the Jayhawk Lawrence chapter. Jim was president of the Missouri-Kansas Association of Naval Aviation and he served for two years as Kansas state president of MOAA.

Jim and his wife, Kay, were married in Yokohama, Japan on October 5, 1957 and celebrated 59 years of marriage this October 5, 2016. Kay survives as do their two daughters, Barb Henry and Jennifer McWilliams. Also surviving are Jennifer’s husband, Kevin, and their sons Brogan and Ian. Jim’s two surviving sisters, Sally Gibb and Jane Mardison, reside in California.

Memorials may be made in his name to First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, Kansas, or the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

6 Condolences

  1. Carrie Lindsey on October 12, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Jim Henry was the most practical City Commissioner I ever encountered. I truly appreciated his listening skills and input. My condolences to his family.

    Carrie Lindsey

  2. Fred & Linda Williams on October 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Dear Kay,

    Linda and I are deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. We know how much of a loving couple you two have been for 59 years. I appreciated on so many occasions Jim’s total support of you and his unwavering desire to assist, if and/or when, you needed assistance in carrying out your duties as an Executive Vice President of the Kansas Alumni Association. The two of you were an absolute blessing for me.

    Linda and I are even more thankful now that Bob and Evelyn Senecal encouraged us to come back to Lawrence last year to visit with our dearest friends and what a great time that was. However, so sudden after that visit came the passing of Max Lucas and then Shirley Welch and now your beloved Jim.

    Kay, those cold and damp winter months of the Midwest are fast approaching and we want you to know that we would be honored to have you as our guest should you want to get away and experience some warm weather during those dreary months. We have two absolutely wonderful homes in two of the loveliest communities of Arizona, which provide all kinds of breathtaking views and an unlimited number of wonderful opportunities for nothing other than a great time and a whole lot of fun.

    Please know that you are in our prayers and will always have our continued best wishes.

    With warmest regards,

    Fred & Linda Williams
    Marana, Arizona

  3. Bev Dolezal on October 13, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    So sorry to hear about Jim. We still remember what great neighbors you were. Our sympathy, Loren and Bev Dolezal

  4. Jodi Breckenridge Petit on October 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I write to send condolences to the Henry family. Jim was always so kind to me as a young Jayhawk and I am thankful for all the good he did for KU and Lawrence. A life that mattered.

    Jodi Breckenridge Petit

  5. Lori Montgomery on October 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I was saddened to see that we lost a good man. I worked with Jim at the University Placement Center in the mid 1990s. There wasn’t a day when he wasn’t smiling, and I loved his sense of humor. My sympathy and prayers to you, Kay, and your family.

    Lori Montgomery

  6. Lisa Harris Cornwell on October 21, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Mrs. Henry, Barb, and Jennifer,

    Sorry to hear about Jim. I remember him coming to our school events with a smile.

    Lisa Harris Cornwell

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