Walton "Walt" P. Henry Jr.

May 24, 1929February 12, 2021

HOPEDALE ~ Walton P. “Walt” Henry, Jr., 91, of Hopedale, passed away at 11:58 p.m. Friday, February 12, 2021 at the Hopedale Nursing Home. He was formerly of League City, Texas.

Born May 24, 1929 in Leonard, Texas, he was the son of Walton P. and Ina Mae (McAlester) Henry, Sr. His parents preceded him in death. He also was preceded in death by one sister, Eloise Allen and a few close friends.

Surviving are his niece, Lisa (Tom) Schureman of Green Valley; a great niece, Sarah (Jordan) Williams of Morton and his great nephews, Bobby (Amelia) Schureman of Pekin and Tommy Schureman of Hannibal, Missouri.

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, Walt joined the Marine Reserves in 1950. He soon found himself fighting at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. After returning home due to frostbitten feet, he enrolled at North Texas State University. After college he worked at General Dynamics for 12 years, before heading down to Houston to begin his dream job at NASA in 1964. Walt’s work at NASA included training the Gemini and Apollo Astronauts in the water tank and mock up trainer, later working with the Air Bearing Table. He retired from NASA in 1991. Through the years Walt enjoyed his sailboats, two of which he lived aboard for a total of 7-8 years. After retirement he was able to take sailing trips to the Bahamas, Virgin Islands and the Florida Keys. He also made a weeks long trip with a good friend across Newfoundland and Labrador in a Volkswagen Westfalia.

A lifelong bachelor Walt loved cars, sailing, football, pocket knives, beer, Captain Morgan rum and telling stories. Boy did he have a lot of stories! He was able to live life on his own terms and enjoyed life to its fullest. He said he was lucky to have a job he enjoyed going to everyday, and great friends with which to enjoy life.

Cremation has been accorded by Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. No visitation or funeral services are planned.

His family would like to thank the physicians and staff at the Hopedale Medical Complex for taking such good care of Walt for the short time that he was there. A sincere thanks as well to Tammy Fyfe, Walt’s friend and helper, and John Rivers for his friendship and weekly lunches over the years in Texas.

Memorial contributions may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, P.O. Box 37920, Boone, Iowa 50037-0920 or by visiting

To express condolences online, visit


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Walton "Walt" P. Henry Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?