Lt. Col. Charles Augustus Lindbergh Henry, 80, Big Run, died Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at home.
He was born Sept. 21, 1930, in Henderson Township, one of 13 children to Joseph Newton and Ethel Faye (Deemer) Henry.
Lt. Col. Henry entered the U.S. Army as a young private Sept. 5, 1950, and thus began his military service. He served his country for 42 years between active and reserve duties. He received his appointment as a Second Lieutenant April 9, 1952, upon graduation from Armored Officers Candidate School. He served in Alaska as acting company commander in Tank Company, 4th Infantry Regiment, from April 8, 1953, until April 8, 1955. He was promoted to First Lieutenant Oct. 9, 1953, and to captain April 8, 1959.
He served as platoon leader, executive officer and commanding officer of the Tank Company of the 4th Infantry while on active duty in Alaska. He was the executive officer of the A. Company, 57th Tank Battalion in Europe, platoon leader and border patrol officer of E Company, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Lt. Col. Henry was the battery commander of the Service Battery, 4th Howitzer Battalion, 92nd Artillery Battery and A Battery, 4th Howitzer Battalion, 92nd Artillery. He was promoted to major Oct. 19, 1967.
By the time he was honorably discharged from active service to join the Army Reserves Jan. 3, 1958, he had served at numerous Army bases in the United States, from Fort Benning, where he graduated in the first Ranger Class; at the time, they were the elite forces in the military with only 250 Rangers with highly specialized abilities. He was stationed in Germany and was on the forefront of the Hungarian Revolt of 1956.
Lt. Col. Henry was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, and served with both the 8th Armored and 2nd Armored Divisions. He served in Food Service Mess Administration, from which he graduated Sept. 12, 1952, just to name a few of his tours. He was stationed in the United States, Alaska, Germany, where he attended and graduated from Army Ordinance School, as well as Japan and Panama.
With the 82nd Airborne, he earned the National Defense Service Medal as well as the Parachutist Badge. During his Reserve years, he served and was promoted up the ranks to his final level of lieutenant colonel Oct. 19, 1969. He retired in 1990.
In civilian life, Lt. Col. Henry was active in the Council for Educable Children, Pennsylvaniaâs Education Association, National Education Association, and the Reserve Officers Association. He was active on the Big Run town council for 16 years. He was an elder in the Christian Church of Big Run.
June 18, 1955, he married Lois Eleanor Bish, who survives.
Lt. Col. Henry was a school teacher at Punxsutawney Area High School, teaching history, math and special education. He worked as the truant officer in the school district and retired as a home school visitor.Â He had also worked as a child abuse investigator.
His hobbies included model tanks, woodworking, rug hooking, painting, reading, camping, talking and storytelling.
He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association and the American Legion in Sykesville.Â
Lt. Col. Henry founded the Big Run Free Militia, in which he and his wife made many outfits, and the whole family participated in reenactments in Ligonier and Erie.Â He also built three canons that were used in the mock battles.
In addition to his wife, surviving relatives include three children, Charles Lynn Henry and wife Marsha Ann of Bellwood, Pamela Dawn Smith and husband Gary of Emlenton, and Jennifer Lee Boyt and husband Robert of Manassas, Va.; six grandchildren, Patrick Thomas Henry, Dr. Glenn Eli Henry, Charles Joseph Henry and fiancĂ©e Rebekah McClain, Catherine Rose Henry, Elizabeth Anne Boyt and Josie Marie Boyt; three step-grandchildren, Jedediah, Caitlin and Gabrielle Smith; and a sister, Shirley Kuhn of Pennsylvania.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers George, Joseph Kenyon Henry, Cyrus Pershing Henry and John Samuel Henry; four sisters Josephine Stone, Ethel Connie Henry, Millicent Faye Buterbaugh and Mary Serena Carr; and stillborn twins.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Brenda D. Shumaker Funeral Home, Inc., Big Run, with Joe Buterbaugh officiating.
Military honors will be accorded by the DuBois Area Honor Guard.
Due to allergies, the family requests no flowers. Memorial donations may be made in Lt. Col. Henryâs memory to the American Diabetes Foundation or the American Cancer Society.
Interment will follow at Lakelawn Memorial Park, Winslow Township.
Online condolences may be made at www.shumakerfh.com.