Henry Halff
1942 - 2015
Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Memorial Park
7405 West Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX
HALFF, Henry Dr. Henry M. Halff, Ph.D., died peacefully on August 10, 2015 in San Antonio, TX, at the age of 72. Henry is survived by his wife Jean, his son Larry, his son-in-law Randy Windham, his brother Bro, and two stepsons, Bradley and Brent Watson. Henry was born on November 26, 1942 in McAlester, OK, to Lee B. and Albert H. Halff of Dallas, TX. He graduated from Philips Exeter Academy (1960); received a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University (1964); and earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin (1969). Henry became a distinguished research psychologist. He taught at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, and subsequently managed major basic research programs on intelligent-computer-based instruction, models of cognitive skills, and biological intelligence at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA. He was a pioneer in computerized instruction, serving as both a consultant and as the founder of his own firm, specializing in interactive instructional software. Over the course of his life, Henry lived in Myrtle Beach, SC; Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Exeter, NH; Palo Alto, CA; Austin, TX; Ann Arbor, MI; Champagne, IL; Arlington, VA; San Diego, CA; and, finally, San Antonio, TX, where he made his home for over twenty years. It is no wonder that Henry loved to travel the world with his wife and family. As great as Henry's love of adventure was his love of his home state, Texas, and its country music, barbecue, and beer. He was a life-long athlete. After conquering competitive running and cycling, he became an accomplished Masters swimmer. As a treasured member of Masters of South Texas, he placed in regional and national competitions, as well as participating in the open-water swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco for eight years in a row, from 2007 through 2014. Henry was a witty and articulate writer, who often authored entertaining online accounts of his own and others' adventures. He also was skilled at sketching and painting, and an expert public speaker. Henry is remembered for both his fine mind and his great compassion, and as always being the champion of the underdog. Throughout his life, he tirelessly served his fellow human beings. He once declared, "My goal in life is to serve others." He achieved that goal with enthusiasm and kindness. Henry grew up as a member of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and was a vital leader in Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout his life, most notably the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington and the Community Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio. Rev. Daniel Kanter of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas will officiate at a brief service at 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 15 at the Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. Rev. Dr. Joshua Snyder will officiate at a memorial service at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 26. Memorials may be sent to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF or Habitat for Humanity.

Published by Dallas Morning News on Aug. 13, 2015.
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23 Entries
To state it simply and profoundly at the same time, Henry Halff was a joy. His presence unfailingly lifted one's spirit. His laugh was infectious. His ability to carry on, even when things looked dark, was inspirational. Henry was a dear and treasured friend during his life, and that has not changed now that he is gone. His memory remains fresh and always will. My husband, Jim, is gone now too. I like to think that he and Henry are somewhere happily digging into a particularly thorny problem in cognition, something they did frequently when together. I send enduring love to Larry, Randy, Bro and Jean, saying that thoughts of Henry bring a smile and the same surge of happiness on which our friendship was based. He was and is a blessing.
Noreen Greeno
August 8, 2021
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April 27, 2020
I am sorry to hear that we no long have Henry around, and I am sorry that I did not see this notice sooner. I will continue to think of him as I work in the educational computer gaming field. I was great to work for and with him over the years.
Carol Redfield
December 30, 2015
I am saddened to read of Henry's death; and by the fact that we shall never meet, in this world. I enjoyed our e-mail exchanges after we discovered our common ancestry. It's amazing how small additions to family background can prompt much larger additions to the puzzle. On behalf of my own family and myself, I send my deepest condolences to the Halff family; with wishes for peace, recovery and healing. Very truly yours, Joel Knoblauch (Reading, PA)
Joel Knoblauch
September 14, 2015
We go way back together, having been roommates at Exeter. I and many others will miss this good man and his marvelous, self-deprecating sense of humor.
Will Amatruda
August 19, 2015
Dear Jean.........you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you the strength you need at this time.
Diane Brown
August 19, 2015
I am so sorry to have learned of Henry's passing. His spirit was special. I can still picture him happily walking Lulu in the greenbelt past our back porches, waving, always with a kind word, his sweet smile, his beloved Lulu prancing, loving every step. Henry was also happy because he knew after his walk he'd be returning to you, Jean, the love of his life. My deepest sympathy to you, Jean, and all who loved Henry.
Carol Selinkoff
August 17, 2015
Dear Larry,
I am so sorry to hear about your father's death. Please know how much I am thinking of you and Larry as you go through the weeks and months ahead. Love, Barb
August 16, 2015
Nothing made us happier than a visit from Henry throughout the many years we knew him. We celebrate his beautiful spirit, his love of life and of his fellow creatures. Larry, his precious son, is cast in the same mold. Jean, you were a boon and a blessing. We treasure our memories and send you, Larry, Randy and Bro our deepest sympathy.
Jim and Noreen Greeno
August 15, 2015
Our sincerest sympathy for your loss. Kathleen & Arthur
Arthur Perkins
August 15, 2015
Sending thoughts and prayers.
August 14, 2015
My sincerest sympathy for your loss. Interacting with Henry at MOST swim practice and parties was always a joy!
Lynn Francis
August 14, 2015
Offering Our condolences to the family, We will keep you in our Thoughts and prayers, May God bless all of the family.
Bob & Ruth Broome
August 13, 2015
Larry and Randy,

We send our most sincere condolence for your loss. Take Henry's love for life and his generous spirit with you as you cherish the memories of his life. You are very lucky to have a father who loved you the way you are.
Richard & Robert Hutson - Barry
August 13, 2015
We were lucky to know him. Henry was interesting in both thought and deed.
Liz and Itzhak Reichman
August 13, 2015
A life well lived. Jean, keeping you and your family in our thoughts.
Todd & Wendy Miller
August 13, 2015
Jean, I am so sorry to hear this news. I will miss Henry and your descriptions of trips you took together. I wish I weren't so far away.
Nancy White
August 13, 2015
May each day be filled with memories of Henry, a wonderful person who touched so many lives. I miss miss his letters, perspectives and insights.
Mary Zinn
August 13, 2015
I will long treasure the humor and insights of Henry. He and the Samuelsons hired me at Twist Education, and was an excellent boss and mentor. I will me reading of his exploits, but look forward to seeing him again someday. May his family be comforted by knowing how much love and compassion he shared.
Levin Tull
August 13, 2015
Larry, I am so sorry to learn of the death of your Dad. He was such fun and gave so much of himself to those of us who knew him T UUCA. I do not have an address for you or I would be sending this message to you at home. You have always been a marvelous blend of the best of both your parents. They loved you and we're so proud of you. You remain part of my fondest memories of Youth Group. Take good care, Larry. With love, Claudia
Claudia Blake
August 13, 2015
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of a life well lived. Henry was one of a kind. We so enjoyed our friendship when we lived in Champaign. Peace be with you Larry as you go through this difficult time.
Juanita & Thom Brown
August 13, 2015
Our brief encounters were always a pleasure.
I pray for your comfort with many treasured memories.
Dorcas McIntosh
August 13, 2015
Offering my condolences to the family, We will keep you in our
Thoughts and prayers, May God bless all of you.
August 13, 2015
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