Dorothy (Dot) G. Henry, passed away at the age of 98 on June 23, 2014, in Houston, Texas. Private funeral services will be held at a later date.|
She is survived by her daughter, Janice Latham and husband Michael of Houston; her son Douglas Henry and wife Carrie of Hawaii; sister Hazel Yarrington and husband Warren of NJ; grandson Donald G. Self and wife Kimberly of Houston; grandson Wyatt Henry of Hawaii; grandson Wayne Henry and wife Sasha of Hawaii; great-grand children Morgan Self, Logan Self, and Peyton Self; extended family Chris and Michelle Carroll of Austin, Texas, and their daughters Krista and Megan; and special family member Fran Daly of Houston. Dorothy's spouse of 42 years, Harvey Henry, predeceased her in 1981. Her brother William Gunsel, sister, Mildred Brown and sister Edith Zachery also predeceased her. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the kindness and care shown by the Plaza Skilled Nursing staff and dining services staff at The Plaza/Buckingham where Dot resided for the past 30 months. A special "thank you" to Sherry who made sure she always looked beautiful.
Dorothy was born in Newark, NJ, on May 8, 1916, one of the "greatest generation." She was the middle child of 4 girls and 1 boy. Her life was greatly impacted by such events as WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Great Depression as well as advances in technology and science. Her husband served in the Navy during WWII for 4 years and the Korean War for 1 year; thankfully, after only communicating through letter writing for 2 to 4 years, he returned along with her brother and her three brothers-in-law.
Dorothy grew up in the small town of Chatham, NJ, married at age 24, worked at Prudential Insurance and then Bell Labs. She met her husband while working at Prudential. In 1952 an opportunity to move to Houston came along and the family of four ventured into the unknown of Texas; in fact, they were the first of either family to leave the New Jersey area so it would have been definitely scary and exciting at the same time. They didn't really know what to expect because in the 50's people in the east believed that Texans were all cowboys and rode horses to work. At the time, air conditioning was almost non-existent in homes - attic fans were supposed to enable people to survive the summer heat; polio was epidemic, terrifying and infecting children each summer; and the expression "fixin' to" was a new concept to her. In Houston, she worked as an Executive Secretary for the President of a small insurance company until age 70. In retirement she played championship duplicate bridge; took several trips to Hawaii, Asia and Europe; participated in numerous church activities after joining the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in 1981 making lifelong friendships with other Prime Timers members; and spent time with family, grand children and great-grand children.
Dorothy started playing bridge with the Spring Branch Duplicate Club in 1992 but was playing bridge at what is now SOSA Community Center and Tracy Gee Community Center long before then. She always had a smile and gentle laugh to greet all the players remembering them each by name; she became their "Queen of Bridge". She was also a member of the American Contract Bridge League and through the years until 2011 earned over 530 Master Points and ranked #766 out of the 2,345 players in the Unit - she had more points than 78% of all the players in the Unit and earned almost all of these points after the age of 72. She made lasting friendships and enjoyed celebrating her birthdays with these wonderful friends. No "party" bridge for Dot - she enjoyed the fierce competition. In 2010 she was given a "Golden Age Master" award for her playing achievements.
To the end, she was an avid newspaper reader. Dot drove until she was 93 and giving up the ability to go when and where she wanted, any time she wanted was a difficult adjustment. With the help of neighbors and friends, she managed to continue to play bridge and participate in church activities for another two years; and with the help of her daughter and son-in-law was able to live independently in her home until late 2011. If Dot were here today, she would still want to gather groups of four for a competitive game of bridge. Dot was an individual raised in a generation that highly valued independence and self-reliance, and she was wonderfully blessed to be able to live those values on her terms for almost her entire 98 years - all in all, a long life well lived and loved.
"I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25-26
Dear Great Grandma, I love you with all my heart and all the way to heaven and all the way back. You are the best great grandma in the world. -Logan Self, written at age 9
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Dot's memory to charities of your choice.
On line condolences may be left for the family by visiting the memorial at www.waltripfuneraldirectors.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on June 29, 2014