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William “Bill” Henry, of Rolla, passed away Jan. 10, 2009, in Columbia, Mo., at the age of 83. Bill was born in Springfield on Jan. 19, 1925, to the late William E. Henry, Sr. and Mamie P. (Moran) Henry of Cuba. Bill accepted the Lord as a young man.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Madeline (Gilliam) Henry and six children: Gary Henry, Seymour; Don (Susan) Henry, Vichy; John (Bonnie) Henry, Rogers, Arkansas; Larry (Judy) Henry, Camdenton; Linda (Ron) Schweiss, Rolla; Pat (Pam) Henry, Jefferson City. 14 grandchildren: Shannon (Patrick) Broyles, Marshfield; Jeff (Julie) Henry, Sparta; Nikki (Matt) Cepicky, Eureka; Jason (Larissa) Henry, St. Louis; Jeremy (Linsey) Henry, Lee’s Summit; Jordan Henry, Vichy; Ashley and Sean Henry, Rogers, Ark.; Bryce (Laura) Henry, Camdenton; Josh Henry, Rolla; Cameron (Alyssa) Schweiss, Austin, Texas; Caleb Schweiss, Rolla; Paige Henry, Jefferson City; Jamie (Buzz) Burchill, Troy, Ala. 11 great grandchildren: Callyn and Micah Broyles, Karli Henry, Rylie and Emerson Cepicky, Eva and Ely Henry, Griffin and Lauren Henry, Kaitelynn and Brookelynn Henry.
He is also survived by five siblings: Irene Ackerman, Sullivan; Kathy Thompson, Sun City, Ariz.; Robert Henry, Sun City, Ariz.; Alene McFarren, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Paulene Wagner, Monument, Colo. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Arthur and James Henry.
Bill served in the U.S. Army paratroopers 11th Airborne Infantry Division during World War II, 1943-1946. As a Jump Master, he executed 81 jumps with no injuries. He was also a Jump School Instructor while stationed in Fort Benning, Ga. His tour of duty included Japan, Luzon and the Philippines. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Good Conduct medals. Throughout the years, he recounted many stories of his time in the Army, his favorite being the witnessing of the signing of the Peace Treaty in Tokyo Bay after Japan formally surrendered in 1945.
He owned and operated Independent Body Shop for 35 years, retiring in 1990. He was an active member of the Rolla Community, having served two terms as a Councilman, and was a member of the Rolla Kiwanis Club for over 20 years. He was much loved by many relatives and many, many friends.
It was his wish that he be cremated. A memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Dave Scudder at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Rolla at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, (573 364-4034).
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, Truman Community Living Center, V.A.V.F. 3 East, 800 Hospital Drive, Columbia, Mo., 65201.