Obituary for Robert McHenry Jr.
Robert "Bo" McHenry, Jr., 80, Spring Creek Services owner, died Tuesday, November 28, 2017. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert Sr & Nelle McHenry; brother, Gregory; grand-daughter, Clare Mahood. Survivors include his wife, Patricia; children, Mary Gleason (Steve) of Maple Hill, Rob McHenry (Rosa) of Woodway, TX, Karen Van Boening (Curt Hoobler), of Mulvane, Theodore McHenry (Jondelle) of Peck, Virginia Mahood (Ken) of Jackson, WY, Angela Flint (Matt), of Lander, WY; siblings, Patricia Mitchell, Marshall (Sue), sister-in-law, Katie McHenry; 22 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Viewing: 1-5pm Sunday, Smith Mortuary, 1415 N Rock Rd, Derby. Rosary at 7pm Sunday Dec. 3 and Funeral Mass at 10 am Monday, Dec 4, both being held at St Mary Catholic Church, 2300 E Meadowlark, Derby. Memorials are established with St Mary Catholic Church building fund and Dear Neighbor Ministries, Wichita.
We are here today to celebrate the life of Robert “Bo” McHenry Jr. who passed away Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Bo had a thin-lipped slightly crooked smile that was a complex combination of kindness, orneriness and genuine joy. Bo made connections everywhere he went. From Kansas to Colorado to Wyoming or New Mexico, he found a way to relate to people. It was his kind heart, sweet smile and persistence that sealed the deal with wife of 55 years, Patricia Simon McHenry. Together they raised 6 kids Mary, Robert III "Rob", Karen, Theodore "Ted", Virginia "Ginny", and Angela "Angie".
Bo loved his country. He served in the Kansas Air National Guard and was so proud of his unit. He was activated in 1968-1969 into the Air Force and was assigned to Laredo AFB during the Pueblo ship crisis.
Traveling with Bo was a great example of his life philosophy. Take the slower and more interesting back roads and avoid the busy generic highways. Twice a year the family took mandatory vacations mostly winter skiing and summer camping in Colorado and later in New Mexico. Heavy map reading, questionable motels, roadside picnics and unplanned stops to examine obscure historical markers were all commonplace and wonderful. He loved Kansas, the great outdoors; hunting pheasant and fishing anywhere you didn’t need a license. He loved his horses and always had a small herd of Angus cattle. Bo was a Model A enthusiast. He drove his beloved Model A in tours around Kansas and hosted 100+ Model A’s every 4th of July in the Derby Parade.
Bo and Pat owned and operated Spring Creek Services from 1979-2017, a successful tree care and commercial landscaping business. He was a member of the Kansas Turf Grass Association. Bo mentored and befriended a wide range of employees over the years. He was a leader for the Derby 4-H club for many years. He accepted people and met them where they were; he felt everyone deserved a chance. He worked hard. His hands were always rough but they also had a gentleness to them. Professionally, or just around the house, there was always something to fix or a project to be done. He loved his tractors “the Massey” and his big John Deere and he really loved his Bobcat skid loaders.
Bo was an expert tinkerer who would choose the most inopportune times to fix a spring in an old clock or replace a mantle in a Coleman lantern (he had the Coleman Store on speed dial.) His love for old clocks never translated to actually being on time for anything.
He was always giving, always generous, and always caring. Many mornings after a snow storm blew through town, he would wake up early to plow the church parking lot and maybe plow a drive way or more before returning home. He never wanted recognition, he did it because it needed to be done and he loved helping others. That was Bo.
He was a devout Catholic and member of Saint Mary Parish in Derby where he was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He attended Seminary school at Conception Abbey in Missouri in 1956. Thankfully he wasn’t priest material, but that did not change his love for Church and his relationship with God.