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John P. Henson

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John P. Henson Obituary
John P. Henson SAUGERTIES- John P. Henson, 48, of Hill Street died suddenly Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at the Kingston City Hospital. Born April 25, 1965 in Greenwich, Conn., he was the son of the late Jim and Jane Nebel Henson. At seven years old, he and his family moved to Bedford, N.Y., where they lived through John’s childhood years. At sixteen John, with his friend, John Kahn, bought an old school house in Saugerties. Kahn then trained Henson in the arts of home building, furniture design, and sculpture. These disciplines would become John Henson’s life work. Throughout his adult life, John worked with his family’s business, The Jim Henson Company, as an accomplished puppeteer. He performed the character Sweetums from 1992 until 2003, and worked as a full-body performer inside of creatures such as the Coca Cola polar bear, among others. After Jim Henson’s death in 1990, John became a shareholder and active board member in the company, and stayed involved in The Jim Henson Company until his death. His main life passion always returned him to his projects in Saugerties, N.Y. He became a master in three-dimensional spatial design. His many homes and buildings in Saugerties reflect his unique design aesthetic and his extraordinary attention to detail. Each of his buildings is an art project, an immersive experience balancing function with artistic expression. His exterior, and fine interior work, utilizing a wide range of materials; from wood, to metal, to stone, created rooms of exquisite embracing craftsmanship. At the time of his death, John Henson had owned and extensively developed many properties in Saugerties, N.Y. In 1996, John met the love of his life, Gyongyi Katona, and in 1999 they gave birth to their first daughter, Katrina. Their second daughter, Sydney, was born in 2003. John was a loving, playful, and dedicated father, and was very involved in all aspects of his girls’ lives. John’s family commented, “John had the deepest soul of any man alive; sensitive, artistic, and extremely compassionate, there was no limit to his love.” A close friend of the family, Arthur Novell described John as, “a most remarkably kind and generous man who gave so much and asked for so little. He infused us with the light of his inquisitive mind, the spirit of his keen intellect and the genius of his talent to create. John will forever be remembered and cherished and talked about and somewhere in the Universe he will be rejoiced.” Survivors include his beloved wife, Gyongyi; two daughters: Katrina and Sydney Henson both of Saugerties; one brother, Brian and his wife, Mia Sara Henson of Los Angeles, Calif.; three sisters: Lisa Henson and her husband, Dave Pressler of Beverly Hills, Calif., Cheryl Henson and her husband, Ed Finn of Manhattan and Heather Henson of Orlando, Fla. His Service of Rememberance will be held at the convenience of the Family. Expression of condolence may be shared with the family at Seamon WilseyFuneralHome.com Arrangements were under the direction of the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc. Corner of John and Lafayette Streets, Saugerties, New York.
Published in the Daily Freeman on Feb. 23, 2014
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