Our beloved father and husband, Delbert Eugene Henry of St. Charles, Mo. passed away peacefully in his home on January 8, 2024 at the age of 77. Delbert, fondly known as Del, was born to Howard and Opal (DeBoard) Henry on July 26, 1946 in Mount Vernon, Ill. He was the youngest of five children and was referred to as the baby of the family for his entire life.
Del grew up in West Plains, Mo. where he learned the values of hard work, friendship and gratitude. Del’s lifelong love of sports began in West Plains, where he played baseball and basketball. In high school, Del continued to excel at basketball as a Power Forward for the West Plains Zizzers, lettering his Junior and Senior years. Del also excelled musically as a vocalist and trombonist. His love of music never wavered and Del’s deep bass voice was often heard humming along his favorite songs and hymnals. He passed along this love of music to his children, encouraging them to read music and play instruments.
After graduation from West Plains High School in 1964, Del proudly served his country as a member of the Army National Guard. On March 10, 1968, at just 21 years old, Del began his career in the airline industry with Trans World Airlines. Del’s employment took him across the county to airline hubs in Kansas City, Mo., Tulsa, Okla., and San Francisco, Calif. It was during his time in the Bay Area that Delbert met his wife of 44 years, Susanne. Delbert and Susanne were married in Carmel-by-the-Sea off the coast of California on June 2, 1979. During one of the airline's many transitional phases, Del and Susanne moved to St. Peters, Mo. for Del’s ultimate employment at the St. Louis TWA Lambert Airport hub. Together the couple raised two children, Philip and Meghann.
Delbert formally retired from American Airlines, formerly TWA, in June of 2020 as one of the longest tenured Stores Clerks after more than 52 years with the company. Delbert was also a dedicated member of the Transport Workers Union of America Local 591. Del’s hard work was constantly recognized, especially his dedication to his employer and teammates. He received many accolades, including Clerk of the Month, perfect attendance awards, and career milestone recognitions for 35, 40, 45, and 50 years of service.
In addition to a life spent working hard to provide for his family, Delbert was a lifelong sports fan and walking encyclopedia of basketball, baseball and football facts and statistics. Delbert spent much of his life collecting sports memorabilia. He loved searching out and trading baseball cards and autographs. Delbert loved watching the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Chiefs. One of his favorite pastimes was visiting Busch Stadium each season with his son to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the San Francisco Giants.
Del worked hard his entire life to provide his wife and children with the best life imaginable, providing great love and security. He respected and cherished his older brothers and sisters and took immense joy reminiscing and sharing stories from his life with his friends. He found the greatest joy in the simplest of life’s moments. We are beyond grateful for every second spent here on Earth with him.
Delbert is survived by his wife, Susanne; children Philip and Meghann; sister, Mary Helen Hansen of Bella Vista, Ark; and sisters-in-law, Peggy Henry of Topeka, Kan. and Wilda Henry of Overland Park, Kan. Delbert was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Opal; brothers Edwin Henry and Lloyd Henry; sister Ada Belle Wiedemann; and brother-in-law Donald Hansen.
Flowers are welcome. Memorial contributions may also be made in honor of Delbert Henry to the HealthWell Foundation.