OBITUARY

Retired Lieutenant Commander US Navy Ronald Hugh Henry

July 23, 1956May 2, 2019
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Ronald H. Henry was born on July 23, 1956, in Yuma, Colorado, to Doris and Roy Henry. Ronald or better known as "Ron" joined the US Navy right after his graduation as Salutatorian from Liberty High School, Jose, CO. Ron was 18 years old.

Ron's first naval assignment was on the USS Knox stationed in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI in 1975. During a chance meeting with a young Vietnamese lady, Lien Pham, who would became his wife of 42 years. "Love at first sight" as he loved to proclaim. After a short 8 months of courtship, they were married in a joint wedding ceremony on May 7, 1977. Ron and Lien traveled all corners of world together and had plans to do more traveling together in the upcoming years.

Ron spent 26 years of his naval career from Seaman Recruit to ascend to the rank of Lieutenant Commander of the US Navy. His last sea duty was commissioned on the USS Kitty Hawk. His last service was serving as the Director of Weaponry and Ammunition of the Western Hemisphere, located at the North Island Naval Weapon Station until his retirement in 2000.

Retirement from the Navy was hardly a retirement from working. Ron went on to obtain his certification as an electrician. He embarked on a second career with Intel Corporation in Portland, OR, and later until his passing in Chandler, AZ.

For those who knew Ron, they all loved Ron and recalled the numerous ways that Ron had impacted their lives. Ron was a great husband, father, and "Yappa" to his beautiful, smart, and talented granddaughters. He was also a wonderful son, brother, brother in-law, cousin, uncle, and great-uncle to two extended yet joint families of Henry-Pham.

Ron traveled with his wife, played golf, hunting, and shooting with his son, and taught his granddaughters to read, write, math, etc. He was also an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hike, golf, shooting, and all things outdoors.

Ron is survived by Lien (wife), Neil (son), Alexis, Alyssa, and Arianna (granddaughters). His passing was sudden and left a large void in the lives of those who loved him, and now began the process of mourning of a great man.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, May 16, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, May 17, 2019
  • Committal Service with Military Honors Friday, May 17, 2019

Memories

Retired Lieutenant Commander US Navy Ronald Hugh Henry

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LEILANI NGUYEN

May 25, 2019

Hey there, Aunt Mabel. My earliest memory of you was your wedding when I was two. Mostly I was jealous that I did not get to be a flower girl. Most of my childhood memories of you are me grabbing your hands, walking my feet up your torso, and doing a somersault while you held my hands secure. All the cousins did somersaults on you til we got tired. You never got tired. I remember the day you helped uncle Tuan bury his puppy Blackie on the hill behind the house on Auburn. I don't remember what ceremony we children demanded but you took us seriously in all our tears. You never spoke an unkind word to us kids, never offered a rebuke. For my high school graduation, you took me and a friend horseback riding on base; spending your Saturday morning escorting awkward greenhorn teenagers, smiling at our saddlesore groans. I remember your retirement ceremony speech brought tears to my eyes; it was an eloquent and succinct speech. Uyen just reminded me that you and aunty Lien came over to share Christmas Eve dinner with all of us in 2017 when Hoang and the girls hand made pasta bolognese. And I can't remember which anniversary milestone of yours it was because the years and decades have begun to blur together for me, but I asked you the secret to a successful long-lived marriage and you told me. Really, you should have told my husband, but now I know, too. I will miss your sly humor. Be at peace. Love, Uncle Fred.

Mark Valtierra

May 24, 2019

The first time my family and I met Ron was in May 2003 at a resort in Carlsbad, CA. We were there to celebrate the birth of his first granddaughter and my first niece, Alexis Henry. I recall he wore a Hawaiian shirt, and light colored pants. We spoke for hours - though it seemed like minutes - about his service in the Navy, his childhood, and many other exciting things. The more I learned about him, the more I honored and respected him.

Years later, Ron and Lien relocated to Arizona. My family and I did as well. It was then that I had the privilege to get to know Ron even more. Our families were there for the birth of Alyssa, and later Ariana. Our families celebrated birthdays, holidays, school events, and took trips together. There were a few times Ron and I went hiking, but stopped going. I could not handle the extreme heat that never seemed to phase him :-) He really enjoyed hiking and being outdoors!

The last time I saw Ron was on May 1, 2019 at Lexy's National Honor Society ceremony. I am glad I was there.

Ron certainly left a remarkable impact in my life.

It breaks my heart you are no longer here, Ron. It is difficult to accept it, but I thank God I had the honor and privilege to know you for as long as I did. While you were here, you weren't just alive, you actually lived your life to the fullest.
Thank you for taking care of my sister, and the girls. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your dinners, and holidays. Thank you for showing me what an honorable man is and should be. Rest in Peace.

Until we meet again.

Karen Bond

May 23, 2019

It is so hard to say good-bye to you. But you left us memories of the many things you said and did and as long as we have these memories you will live in our hearts forever.
We will always remember the visits we had with you and your family in some of the places you lived while serving in the Navy. Your thoughts were always of other people and what you could do to make their visits enjoyable. From taking us on a tour of an aircraft carrier to inviting your nephews Ryan and Tyler to accompany you and Neil on the USS Kittyhawk as it cruised from Seattle to San Diego, you were a caring and thoughtful brother and uncle. And after the cruise when Ryan wanted to go on a cruise again, in typical Ron talk your response to him was "join the Navy". The last visit we had with you at your house, we had such a good time looking at old pictures and listening to you talk about your career in the Navy. It was one of the most enjoyable visits we had and I will always remember it.
Within the past two years, you and I decided the best way to communicate with each other was via e-mail. When you finally gave me your e-mail address, I could always count on you to answer any of my questions with your quick wit and humor, like "I don't know why you didn't get the check, I sent it by Pony Express 2 days ago".
You were always there to offer comfort and support when I needed it, and advice when I didn't need it! I am so proud to call you my brother and I will never forget all the memories.
I miss you Ron
I love you
Untill we meet again

Lena Pavao

May 23, 2019

Ron,
It has been more than 2 weeks since you'd gone, it is still unbelievable, I still can not comprehend what had happened, I want to wake up from the nightmare to tell Lien to tell you to be careful not to go swimming when you go hiking, why the nightmare continue? why it does not end? Why my heart so heavy ? Why the tears kept on flowing.
Missing you so terribly my dear Brother in-love, you were the kindest, honorable, most loyal, helful, patriotic and protector to all who known you and ever needed you, you were many, many things that there are just not enough words in the dictionary to describe, we Phamily will forever hold you in our hearts.
Rest In Heavenly Peace !

Melissa Grey

May 21, 2019

It was such a blessing to know Ron. The first time I met him, I told my husband that he reminded me so much of my dad, so mild mannered, humble but yet, had such a strong presence. He definitely left an impression on whomever he met. He was an amazing coworker & friend to all. He sure loved talking about his outdoor adventures and was quick to invite anyone who showed an interest. LOL. I had the privilege on going on one of the Intel family hiking adventures about a year ago and will forever cherish this memory! Sending much love & prayers to his family & friends. May God envelope y’all in His strength, courage and peace. God Bless❤️

Russ Henry

May 21, 2019

Still hard to believe you are gone. So many memories growing up with you on the farm. Driving tractors, playing basketball in the yard, chess on the living room floor, riding to school in your Chevy. Especially remember coming home from school to learn you had joined the navy out of sense of duty and patriotism, I think surprising everyone. I'm going to miss your humor and conversations at family gatherings. Words from your friends, coworkers, shipmates, and family speak to your compassion and honor, you truly are a remarkable man. I am proud to be your brother, I love you. Rest in Peace.

Lien (wife) Henry

May 20, 2019

My Husband - My greatest and only Love - My Hero - My Comfort - My Rock - My Future and My Everything. Early in the morning he was with me then within several hours later My Everything Was gone along with my future. Without a word. He’s just gone. Sorrow, devastated, painful; these words are too mild to describe how I am feeling right now. My grief to great too bare at times. Our son, granddaughters and I lost the most precious person in the world to us.
My dearest. Rest your soul in our ever loving Lord’s arms , until we meet again. You will be forever missed. I love you so very, very much.

Steven Chico

May 20, 2019

First and foremost, God Bless the Ronald Hugh Henry/Pham Family, during this very trying time, God Bless Ron Henry, he is on a new journey now, and is in God's Hands.
I met Ron in 1979, I had been on the USS DIXIE AD-14, for over a year, he transferred to DIXIE in late '78 or early '79. He was a GUNNERS MATE TECHNICIAN, GMT. We worked on the original weapons of "mass destructions", Special Weapons, and it was thru Ron that I learned the finer points of maintaining Special Weapons. Ron was an expert in Documentation, Maintenance, handling, and overall care of the Anti-Submarine Rocket, ASROC. It was those first few months that I learned that Ron didn't say too much, now I have a problem. I talk a great deal, my wife often says I talk to hear myself talk. So if I am working or being trained by Ron and he isn't talking, I would make him talk, ask questions, crack jokes, what ever it took to make him talk. Eventually the ASROC Shop grew to a core group or team of young Navy personnel, with Ron and I being the oldest. Both Ron and I were Second Class's, E-5's. But it was that core group that passed the toughest test on the West Coast, the first to pass a "DEFENSE NUCLEAR SURETY INSPECTION, DNSI, We were the best of the best. Ron was the backbone of that group, he did the installation and checking of the cleaning bench, he was all over that team. He was sharp and the most knowledgeable person on the entire team. When ever I hit a hard spot in my life and wonder how will I get though this, I remember that inspection and how we did it. And the hard spot goes away. Ron also would make observations about shipboard life and we would call those "Henryism's". When a person like Ron is so quiet, you don't expect him to hang out, or go to dinner or have a drink, but he would, he'd have a drink with you, sometimes you need cheering up, he would help cheer you up. Ron will be sorely missed, God Bless him and his family.

Brianne Pham

May 19, 2019

As a sister-in-law, I’ve known Ron before he even married to my sister for over 42 years. His passing left a huge hole in my heart and I don’t think anything can ever filled that emptiness that I’m feeling right now!
Ron was one of our favorite brothers because we always considered him as a brother not a brother-in-law, he was kind, caring and willing to help any of us that needed help for anything; from fixing my garbage disposal, leaky sinks, moving things around the house, putting support under the mattress because it broke while he was sleeping on that bed and scared his wife/my sister to death, and most recently helped me cleaned out my storage unit during Easter while he was in San Diego.
He loved us quietly and profoundly and in return, we loved him with all our hearts that words can not be described! Most often if there was a diffident in opinion, we always took Ron’s side regardless of what the situation was because we know he was always right! Ron had this quirky about him that whenever I called and he answered the phone, I’d asked him “how are you Ron?”, his answered “I’m doing terrible, how are you?”.
We will miss Ron desperately, especially at the Phamily’s gathering from now on! I hope & pray that he’s in a good place and he’ll watch over all of us who forever loved him!
Rest In Peace my loving brother!

Qwan Pham

May 19, 2019

I've known Ron since I was 8 years old. The most genuine and kind person I've known. He was like another older brother in my huge family and always ready to jump in to do whatever the Pham family had going on. I remember when I was in eight grade, on a hot Sunday afternoon after church, I asked him to go play basketball at a near by school, Ron didn't have a change of clothes or sneakers to wear, rather than saying "let's do that another time when I have the right shoes and clothes" - he said let's go! And so we spent an afternoon playing basketball, he in his Sunday clothes and dress shoes. I'm sure he had blisters on his feet afterwards but he didn't say a thing, but that he enjoyed it. Ron lived his life as an adventurer, leaving his family at 18 and adopting a new one when he married my sister Lien. Theirs as well as our lives were all better for it. We will miss you Ron at the Pham family gatherings.

"The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." -- John Muir

Memorial services photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/hWE8pg2ARQF2wf9UA

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