Henry Edmund Gilpin III
Henry Edmund Gilpin III
November 10, 1922 ~ December 11, 2011
MONTEREY - Henry Gilpin, 89, died peacefully in his home on Sunday, December 11, 2011, with his family by his side, following complications of a stroke.
Henry was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Henry Edmund Gilpin Jr. and Eloise Van der Veer Gilpin. Henry was educated in Cleveland Heights schools, spending summer vacations working on his Dutch relatives' farm in New York. He was a direct descendent of General Philip Schuyler, and had a lifetime interest in U.S. history.
Henry enlisted in the Army Air Corps, training in the southwest, and received his pilot's wings in November 1943. In Lincoln, Nebraska, he picked up his plane, a B-24, gathered the nine men that would complete his crew, and flew across the Atlantic to England. He was 21 years old.
Assigned to the 801st/492nd Bombardment Group, Henry became part of the Carpetbaggers. Carpetbaggers flew at night, in B-24s painted black and modified to carry and drop supplies, as well as men and women, who worked with the underground resistance movement in German-occupied Europe. As a Carpetbagger, Henry flew 58 missions, the last eight missions supplying gas to General Patton. Receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross, Henry was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps on September 11, 1945. He later served in the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 1971.
Upon discharge, Henry married his childhood friend and later sweetheart, Doris Myers, in 1946, in Cleveland's University Circle. GI Bill opportunities drew them to California, where Henry attended classes at UCLA. Tiring of LA, they sought a smaller town and came to the Monterey Peninsula. Seeking a way to live in the area, they investigated an opportunity with the Sheriff's Department of Monterey County. Henry often told the story as "I walked in to inquire about a job and came out with a badge and a gun". In 1976, retiring from the Sheriff's Department after 25 years, he left a varied career that included leading the Search and Rescue Team and attending the FBI Academy. At the time of his retirement, Henry was the Captain of the Detectives Division.
Photography played a significant part of Henry's life beginning in his childhood, when he had a coal bin darkroom. He had a lifelong interest in photography, and in 1959, attending an Ansel Adams workshop in Yosemite, his life changed. From that time onward, Henry's skill and passion for photography dominated his life. His goals to improve as a photographer led him to travel, exploring nature and refining his skills. Over his career, he produced more than 7,000 negatives, all black and white.
A Monterey Peninsula College teaching career began when Henry was with the Sheriff's department and continued for 37 years. He taught over a thousand students the basics of black and white photography. During his MPC years, a life rich with shows both individual and juried, program presentations, workshops, and travels enriched his life as he enriched the lives of others through his teaching. He also taught for 15 years at the University of California Santa Cruz extension. Henry led local workshops, taught in the Ansel Adams Workshops at Yosemite from 1967-1973, led workshops through the Gold Country, along Route 395, and in Death Valley. He led photographic caravans to Sante Fe and Yellowstone and in addition led workshops in New Zealand, Alaska and Spain. He traveled independently to Antarctica and Greenland.
Henry has been featured as a valuable photographic force in numerous magazine articles, books, a video and DVD. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art, and his prints are included nationwide in public and private collections. These include the California Museum of Photography, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum, the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, the University of Colorado University Library in Boulder, and the Monterey Museum of Art. His work has been on exhibit locally at the Monterey Museum of Art, the Highlands Inn, and the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel.
Henry is survived by Doris, his wife of 65 years; daughter, Jean Gilpin Freeman (Gary) of Pasadena; grandsons, Christopher Gilpin Freeman and Alexander Grant Freeman of Pasadena; son, James Howard Gilpin of Ventura; and stepbrother, William Van der Veer Myers of San Diego. Henry was preceeded in death by infant son, John Henry Gilpin.
No memorial service will be held. An Open House for friends, family, and former students will be held at his home, Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Donations may be made in his name to the Monterey Museum of Art, 559 Pacific St., Monterey, CA 93940, or the Center for Photographic Art, P.O. Box 1100, Carmel, CA 93921.
Published by Monterey Herald from Dec. 16 to Dec. 18, 2011.
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15 Entries
I never had the opportunity to meet Henry Gilpin in person, but was an avid collector of his photographs. Living in the UK; I know his work has touch people all over the world and I would like to thank him for sharing his passion and skill with so many. RIP
Duncan Heather
March 28, 2012
I had the opportunity to meet Henry and Doris when I lived in California. Henry was to photography what Aaron Copland was to music. His presence will continue amongst us through the images he created. My thoughts are with Doris and the Gilpin Family.
Dave Spulick
December 24, 2011
I studied photography and photographed with Henry throughout the 70's and 80's. I was always impressed with his impeccable attention to detail and consider him to be one of the best photographic printers. His images speak for themselves. He was a gentle man, and all who knew him knew that he was a man's man. A man of strength and character. I am honored to have known him and his lovely wife Doris. My sympathies to Doris and his family.
Melvin Cohen DDS
December 23, 2011
It is with great sadness that I learn of Henry's passing. I first met Henry in 1971 and found a gentle man dedicated to photography and sharing his vision with students in his presence. I returned to other workshops, taught by Henry, to continue learning and being counseled by Henry.
I am bless to have several images by Henry but most of all the vivid and wonderful memories of a giant among men.
My sympathies to Doris Gilpin and the family.
Dr. John Galbreath
December 23, 2011
Henry was a fantastic artist and a gentle soul. I'm glad I had a chance to know him and hear some of the stories behind his work. I'll miss him, and extend my deepest sympathies to Doris and his entire family.
Steve Ikemiya
December 22, 2011
Henry was a real light in the photography department at MPC. An excellent educator, he was knowledgeable, unpretentious and patient. In a field often dominated by egos, he was a breath of fresh air.
Mel Edelman
December 19, 2011
Doris, Jean and Jimmy - I'm so sorry for your loss. Ted was one of my most favorite people. He was such a calming influence. And really, has there ever been a more handsome law officer?

I think of him often because every time I visit my mother I see his beautiful photographs. I hope your sadness flees as quickly as possible and is replaced with all the wonderful memories you have of him.
kathy klawans smith
December 19, 2011
Even though I never took one of Henry's classes, I was constantly inspired by his photos and his generosity. From growing up a few doors away from him to running into him randomly photographing by side of the road in Tuolumne Meadows, Henry was always the pillar of photographic integrity. He will be missed.
Peter Figen
December 19, 2011
I know Henry through his beautiful photographs and his work as an educator. His family is in my prayers.
Alan Fitzgerald
December 18, 2011
Henry was my first photography instructor at MPC in 1976. He was always a great educator, fine photographer and quite profoundly encouraging to all of us. Legions of students - like me - will always remember his great teaching of such a wonderful art medium!
Carol Williams - Photography West
December 18, 2011
I worked with Henry in various roles in the Sheriff's Office. First, as Inspectors (Det. Sgts), then later in other capacities as we got promoted. While he was intense, he had a sense of humor and got along with everyone. He did an outstanding job in all of his assignments. I had a tremendous amount of respect for him as a gentleman, police officer and colleague.
Bud Cook
December 17, 2011
Then-Lt. Gilpin was my first Patrol Div Lt when I rotated out of the jail in 1965 to the Monterey sub-station and also joined the SAR team, which was headed by Capt. Shuler and Lt. Gilpin. He was a great leader, mentor and example to all of us young troops. We went through a lot of poison oak together. RIP Captain, a life well lived.
Roger Chatterton
Roger Chatterton
December 17, 2011
We've lost a great Monterey treasure. Is there anyone who didn't take at least one class of Mr. G's? Blessing to his family for sharing him with us lo' these many years.
Elaine Giampietro
December 17, 2011
I took his photography class back in 1978-79
Great instructor. Rest in Peace, Mr. G
Steve Brochin
December 17, 2011
Capt. Gilpin was the best boss I ever had and a good friend. He was a leader of men. Rest in peace Henry you earned it.
Don Ervin
December 16, 2011
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