OBITUARY

Henry Mayer Halff

November 26, 1942August 10, 2015

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 UNICEFor Habitat for Humanity.

Services

  • Graveside Service Saturday, August 15, 2015
  • Memorial Service Saturday, August 15, 2015
REMEMBERING

Henry Mayer Halff

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Carol Redfield

December 30, 2015

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.

Joel Knoblauch

September 14, 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)

Will Amatruda

August 19, 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.

Diane Brown

August 19, 2015

Dear Jean.........you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you the strength you need at this time.

Carol Selinkoff

August 17, 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.

August 16, 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

Jim and Noreen Greeno

August 15, 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.

Arthur Perkins

August 15, 2015

Our sincerest sympathy for your loss. Kathleen & Arthur

Shelly

August 14, 2015

Sending thoughts and prayers.

Lynn Francis

August 14, 2015

My sincerest sympathy for your loss. Interacting with Henry at MOST swim practice and parties was always a joy!