NOVEMBER 5, 1931 – MARCH 4, 2023
Don LeRoi Henry, 91, formerly of Nacogdoches, TX was born November 5, 1931 in Sioux City, Iowa. He served as Vice President for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches from 1982 to 1992. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Nacogdoches.
Don grew up in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri mid-west towns as his parents LeRoi and Carolyn owned and operated movie theaters. At age 12 his dad bought him his first popcorn machine and Don became a teen-aged “movie theatre popcorn baron”. With his entrepreneurial flare he made enough to buy a Ford convertible and pay for university tuition. He attracted the love of his live – Marilynn Elaine Thompson – with his dancing flare in a class at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri.
Don had plans to own a movie theatre, but while serving in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict/Cold War, he was advised to think bigger as the popularity of television changed the theatre business. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing, entering the business world in 1959 working at a Florida bank. He then worked in insurance management from 1960-1966, becoming chief accountant and later manager of the Office of Finance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In 1970 the Henry family then returned to Northwest Missouri State University where held the positions of Business Manager and later Treasurer. He later held similar assignments at Stephens College and Texas Women’s University.
Don and Marilynn married in 1952. Son David was born while Don was serving in the Air Force. Son Stephen was born in Missouri. Daughter, Gina was born in Florida while Don was beginning his civilian career. All the children (and Marilynn) graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in the mid 1970’s and early 80’s.
Don was a musician, artist, writer, traveler, runner, businessman, husband, and father. He played the trumpet and piano by ear; sketched beautiful charcoal drawings; co-wrote a movie script about the famous Yazoo Union gunboat that was sunk north of Vicksburg Mississippi on Dec 12, 1862 during the Civil War. He was stationed in Germany during the Korean War; traveled to Europe, Mexico, Peru and continued his international travels after retirement from SFA working in Ifrane, Morocco opening the American-styled Al Akhawayn University from 1995-97. He later helped start another American-styled University in Azerbaijan. He logged over 10,000 miles running, influencing many in the family to run and compete in triathlons – including Ironman. He volunteered in Boy Scouts as a troop leader greatly influencing his sons David and Steve, his nephew Scott and his grandson Taylor to become Eagle Scouts.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife of over 70 years, Marilynn Henry; sons David Henry (Christy) and Steve Henry; daughter Gina Henry; grandchildren Derek (Sherri), Sean, Kelsey, Taylor (Emily) and Amanda; and great-grandchildren Madelyn, Elizabeth, Cooper, Bridgette and Audrey.
Funeral services will be held at Noon on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home. The family will receive friends for visitation starting at 11am. Pastor Emeritus Dr. Allen Reed from the First Baptist Church will be officiating the service and the military salute burial at Sunset Memorial Park following the service. Attendees are invited to join us in placing (old or new) running shoes around the casket at the end of the ceremony.