Mary Lou was preceded in death by her husband Vernon Henry, sister Carol Ann Sauer Bryant and nephew Nathan Lloyd Bryant. She is survived by her son Paul Henry (Kristen), nieces Kathleen Louise Bryant Powell, Elena Lee Bryant Ball (Jeb) and Julie Lynne Bryant, nephews; Patrick Lewis Bryant (Laurie) and John Jerome Louis Bryant (Wendy).
Mary Lou received a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Rice University. Throughout her stellar career as an urban planner, Mary Lou Sauer Henry was known as a mentor and an inspiration who constantly worked to promote the best in urban planning. For more than 50 years, Mary Lou helped to frame much of the successful growth and development in Houston, Texas. In fact, when she began her career in the city of Houston’s Planning and Development Department, she helped lay the foundation for some of the city’s current developments. When Texas passed its landmark annexation law in 1963 to protect growth areas for cities, Mary Lou was assigned the task of researching the growth history of Houston to produce the first official annexation map. Additionally, she developed the first major thoroughfare plan covering the 1,700-square-mile area outside of the city limits — a genuine feat. In 1964, Mary Lou transitioned to the private sector at Neuhaus and Taylor and, in 1971, joined her late husband Vernon Henry as a partner at Vernon Henry & Associates, Houston’s oldest land planning firm at that time.
Mary Lou was recognized in 1985 with the American Planning Association (APA) Diana Donald Award for contributions to women’s rights and the planning profession. In 1999, she was inducted in the first class of the Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the APA’s highest honor. In 2014, Mary Lou became the first recipient of the Texas Planning Legend Award. She served on the board of directors for the Main Street Coalition, South Main Alliance, Scenic Houston, Houston Fire Museum, Boulevard Oaks Civic Association and the University Place Super Neighborhood.
A visitation for Mary Lou will be held Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Heights Funeral Home, 1317 Heights Blvd, Houston, Texas 77008. A celebration of life service will occur Friday, March 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Heights Funeral Home.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.heightsfuneralhome.com for the Henry family.
Kathleen Louise Bryant PowellNiece
Elena Lee Bryant BallNiece
Julie Lynne BryantNiece
Patrick Lewis BryantNephew
John Jerome Louis BryantNephew
Vernon HenryHusband (deceased)
Carol Ann Sauer BryantSister (deceased)
Nathan Lloyd BryantNephew (deceased)