CAPTAIN THOMAS E. HENRY Career mariner Captain Thomas E. Henry "laid down the working tools of life" on February 2, 2014, in his 87th year. "Tom" was born and raised on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. There he attended local Babylon Public Schools until March, 1945, when he left at age 17 to serve on active duty in World War II, in the United States Navy. During his year and a half in the Navy, he achieved the rank of Gunner's Mate, Third Class. Following his honorable discharge from the service, he attended the prestigious Cathedral School of St. Paul in Garden City, New York, on the "G.I. Bill". He graduated in June, 1947 with his high school diploma. In 1951, following his "passion for the seas", he graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which readied him for a lifetime career in the United States Merchant Marine. This career included being the Captain of merchant ships transporting invaluable munitions on multiple occasions to our nation's armed forces fighting to preserve democracy in the southern region of Vietnam during that protracted war. Later, Henry also sailed as a ship's master for the United States Lines Company. In 1985, at age 57 and after 33 years of service with the U.S. Lines and 50 years as a merchant marine, he retired with all of the prestige a ship's Captain could achieve. Over the years he also rose to the rank of Captain in the United States Naval Reserve. After his retirement, he continued to serve for three years in active duty as a "Ship Handling Instructor" at Little Creek, Virginia. At that time he was known as the oldest serving officer at the large naval base in New Port News, Virginia. Captain Henry and Barbara, his devoted wife of forty years, resided in Stuart, Florida. Captain Henry was until recently, employed as a senior instructor at the well-known Chapman School of Seamanship. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Chapman School. It was during this time of his life that he authored two books entitled, "Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall", and "Next Voyage Will Be Different". Furthermore, being a ship's captain, and earning multiple awards for his many skills, imbued him with the desire to always care for others while welcoming challenges of responsibility and leadership when needed. He served 50 years as a Volunteer Firefighter for the Phoenix Hose Company No. 1 in Babylon, NY. He was instrumental in managing the crime watch program and team, at Pierpoint Yacht Club. He also served as a docent at the Maritime Yachting Museum. Tom often reflected on how much he enjoyed sharing his love of seamanship with his students. He certainly knew that when he would leave this world, his skills and experiences would be passed on to many others, whom he touched with his passion for the sea and maritime duty and adventure. Captain Thomas E. Henry is survived by his wife, Barbara Henry (nee Arcome, Lawlor); his devoted brother, Honorable Judge Patrick Henry of the Supreme Court of New York (Ret.); his sister Margaret Daly; his daughters Joan, Janet, Robin, and Nancy; as well as his four loving grandchildren, four great- grandchildren, and eight nieces and nephews and their children. Memorial services will be conducted at a time to be determined, in Stuart, Florida, and in Babylon, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Treasure Coast Hospice, Martin County, 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, FL.
Published in the TC Palm on Feb. 9, 2014