Obituary: Peter D. Henry, 81, Could Fix Anything
The individuals he leaves, and whose lives he has touched, are numerous. He is survived by the love of his life of over 62 years, Lorraine (Pepin) Henry, with whom he celebrated his six daughters: Patricia H. Muise of Norcross, Georgia; Mary Susan Johnson of North Kingstown, Rhode Island; Kathleen E. Cullinan of Chesapeake, Virginia; Lorry A. Fitzpatrick of Bolivia, North Carolina; Elizabeth A. Miller of Pace, Florida; and Nancy L. Desjarlais also of North Kingstown. Pete taught them to change the oil in their cars, how to catch a trout and how to use power tools. His neighbors speak about his pride in their accomplishments and families. In addition to his girls, his 6 sons-in-law, his 19 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren will deeply miss him.
He took pride in his service during the Korean conflict as a U.S. Navy boson's mate in Key West, Florida. After his service, he and his new bride relocated back to Rhode Island where he enjoyed a long career with New England Telephone Company as a telephone repairman. He was a 4th degree Knight with St. Francis Council Knights of Columbus in Wickford, Rhode Island. He thoroughly travelled the U.S. east coast with friends and family in his trusty Winnebago motor home, visiting extended family and far away friends, settling in Florida for his retirement.
He had a life long love for tinkering with electrical gadgets, outsmarting squirrels from his birdfeeders, challenging the local fish and puttering in his garden, most especially nurturing his Florida citrus trees. He was generally known as the guy who knew how to fix anything and who always had that obscure tool that one could borrow and he would even come and show you how to use it. He could recently most often be seen on his golf cart, flying the American flag, driving through his neighborhood accompanied by his faithful sheltie, Sydney.
His nephews describe him as being "a great man, an exceptional father, and a fine uncle to me" and "I have a lot of great memories of Uncle Pete", also "To me he was my Uncle Pete, the tough guy who showed me how to catch horseshoe crabs with my bare hands. On certain summer weekends there were three males in the decidedly female dominated Henry house. Uncle Pete, whiny cousin Mark, and Baron the dog." His niece shares "Uncle Pete was always special to me...my first boyfriend… when I was maybe three and he was dating Aunt Lorraine, I would run down three flights of stairs so he could carry me up! Long, long time ago, many, many memories..." Childhood friends of his daughters impart "I remember him always with a smile when he would drive the band around." "Your dad was the sweetest man and will be missed." and "he was a lot of fun".
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 10am in St. Bernard Church, 275 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown. Burial with Military Honors will be in RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter. Visiting hours Wednesday, February 5, 2014 from 4:00PM to 8:00PM in the FAGAN-QUINN Funeral home, 825 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI.
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