Lt. Col. William F. Henson

Our father, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William Frank Henson, died Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge at the age of 91. He was the beloved husband of the late Jane Henson. Born in Knoxville, Tenn., son of the late Manley and Louise Henson, Bill lived in Lake Monticello and Charlottesville for the past five years, and previously, was a longtime resident of Heathsville in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Bill entered the Army in 1950 and shortly thereafter deployed to his first assignment to the Philippines as a young second lieutenant, beginning a career that spanned almost 26 years and assignments across four continents, and multiple command and staff positions. During his Army career, he graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and later, earned a master of science in engineering from Michigan State University. His service as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Corps of Engineers included participation in and leadership of many dramatic projects around the world. From the Philippines, to geodesic engineering and mapping of the Republic of Korea, to bridging the Rhine River in Germany in the 1950s, to officer in charge of the U.S. Army Joint Mapping Program in Honduras in the 1960s, to Project Engineer, Far East District, Korea, to assistant engineer commissioner of the District of Columbia, he was the epitome of selfless service.

Bill married the former Jane Surface in 1951 and together they raised three children: Bill (Linda) Henson, Jr., of Olney, Md.; Marion “Lou” (Bob) Lamb of Palmyra, Va.; and John (Kimberlee) Henson of Carlisle, Penn. As an Army family, they were experienced at moving from assignment to assignment, including a 3,500 mile car trip up the Pan American highway in an 8-year-old station wagon, from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to McLean, Va. When asked why he would undertake such a journey, Bill simply said, “I really liked that car.”

He was a loving grandfather of Robert (Maria), Andrew (Jennifer) and Christopher Lamb; Sharon, Susan, and Sarah Henson; and Lauren (Ericka) and Ryan (Olivia) Henson and was the beloved great-grandfather of Isabella, Charlotte, Violet and Arianna.

Following his service to our nation, he worked as the Washington office executive director of the American Public Works Association and in 1977 he and Jane retired to Heathsville and together made their home at Sunnyside (circa 1820). During these wonderful years together, they indulged in his passion for sailing, restoring old cars, and the challenges of managing a home built in 1820. It included leadership at St. Stephens Episcopal Church as senior warden as well as service on various community projects, including the board of the Northumberland Library and important historical preservation work at Rice’s Hotel-Hughlett’s Tavern. Bill served his nation, his community, and his church. He was a quiet, kind, and graceful man of faith, loved by his friends and cherished by his family

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Simeon, 1333 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Va.

Interment will be held Monday, April 15, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Heathsville, Va.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to

Thacker Brothers Lake Monticello Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Family and friends may share memories and photos at

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