THOMASTON – Arthur D. ‘Art’ Henry, 97, longtime owner and operator of Art Henry Crane Service, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on Sunday, October 23, 2022 at Sussman Hospice House in Rockport.
Born in Thomaston on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1925, he was the son of Arthur J. and Mary Linekin Henry. Educated locally, he graduated in 1943 from Thomaston High School. Growing up during the Depression, he was a hard worker all his life, learning that lesson at the age of 12 when his own father died.
Drafted into the US Army at the age of 18, he served overseas in the European theater with the 45th Infantry Division, the Thunderbirds. Together with his comrades he marched in Germany, helping to liberate the Dachau concentration camp. In January 1946, he returned home to his beloved state of Maine, just 20 years old, but forever a changed man. Art often spoke of his experiences, but carried much of what he had learned and seen during the war close to his heart.
After working several different jobs, including fishing for FJ O’Hara, he purchased a Ford tractor in 1952. This was the start of his long career as a crane operator and the start of his business, Art Henry Crane Services.
Later he was an active member of the American Legion at Thomaston. During this time, he participated in the annual 4th of July celebration, the lighting of the municipal Christmas tree, and the supply and maintenance of the skating rink behind the block. He also competed in the Twilight Baseball League.
In 1960 Art acquired ‘The Island’ in St. George. It was his “happy place” where, along with his family, many wonderful memories were made. The island will always hold a special place in the hearts of the family for generations to come.
Art has always had a special place in her heart for animals, especially her beloved dog “Munchie”. More recently, he could be found feeding and caring for the feral cats that roam the shop. Art’s quick wit will be missed beyond measure, his recall of historical facts was second to none. His memory never faded and he could remember everything from the facts of his childhood to what he had eaten for breakfast that day.
The art was a Beechwood Street icon. Even after having to stop driving and not being able to get to local stops for his daily conversations, Art drove his truck to the end of his driveway and sat down. Right there in the driveway people often stopped and visited to learn the local history. Art Factor Joe Wyman once said, “Art was the best history teacher he ever had.
Refining his culinary skills as he got older, Art cooked roasts, seafood stews and a boiled dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. He delivered these meals to his brother Teddy and later to his brother Walter.
Always up for adventure, he enjoyed going to local Maine fairs, auctions, cast ironing, kite flying with his children and grandchildren, and even traveled to Florida and back alone to visit his family. siblings and friends. He was an avid reader, reading at least three newspapers a day until his eyesight failed him.
He was a loving and generous man who helped anyone in need. His family was his number one priority and he was actively involved in the lives of his grandchildren. Art’s passing leaves a big hole in the hearts of all who loved him.
Predeceased by his sisters, Blanche, Elizabeth, Alice, June and Iva; two brothers, Teddy and Walter; two daughters, Diane Henry and Carla Henry; one son-in-law Russell Elwell; a nephew Arthur E. Henry; and the mother of his children, Charlene Anderson; Arthur is survived by his children, Dwight Henry and his wife Michelle of Thomaston, Susan Henry of Thomaston; Allison Libby and her husband William de Cushing; his grandchildren, Willow Henry-Elwell of Thomaston, Justin Henry and his partner Danielle of Thomaston, Nicolas Lemieux and his wife Christine of Saco, Cameron Henry of Thomaston; his great-grandchildren, Seamus and Sawyer Henry, and Emilia Lemieux; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Throughout his life, Art made many friends, many of whom predeceased him, including Erkie & Russ Fish, Sid Andrews, Dana Sawyer, Roland Hahn and Peanut Robinson. In recent years he has enjoyed the company and friendship of Todd Watts, Bob and Vicki Barret and Dusty and Becky Glidden.
At Mr. Henry’s request, his family will remember his life in private. To share a memory or condolences with the Henry family, please visit their remembrance book at www.bchfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, PO Box 1294, Rockland, Maine 04841.
Arrangements are entrusted to Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.