Larry Henschen

larry henschen badge.jpg

Memorial Service

May 5th, 2007 - Posted on Order Ecumenical Mailing list: Shirley Henschen and her family wanted to invite you to Larry Henschen's Memorial Service on Saturday, June 16 in Chandler, Arizona. The service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Valley Unitarian Church, 6400 West Del Rio Street, Chandler, AZ 85226. Refreshments will be served after the service. There will be opportunity to share stories about Larry's life. If any of you are planning on coming. please let me know so we can plan for the food. Also if you need an overnight stay, I can see what I can arrange among the colleagues in Phoenix.

Directions to the church are as follows: Take I-10 south to Ray Road. Exit to the left onto Ray Road. Going east on Ray Road, pass Priest Road, after the rail road track there is a stop light at McKemy. Turn right on McKemy and go to Del Rio. The church is at the corner of Del Rio and McKemy.

Shirley and Patty are returning to Phoenix next Saturday. Shirley says she is walking a bit without the walker and feeling stronger.

Joan Knutson


Larry G. Henschen, 72, died April 14, 2007, in Phoenix, AZ. Born Jan. 8, 1935, in Indianapolis, IN, to Lawrence and Dorothea Henschen, Larry was graduated from Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis, in 1953 and from Purdue University in 1957. He married Shirley J. Alley in 1958. His entire career was spent in aerospace, including 18 years of work on the space shuttle and space station for NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston; he retired from Boeing in 2002. He was preceded in death by his parents and survived by his wife of 48 years, Shirley; daughters Carla J. Carey (Shawn) and Patricia R. Henschen; granddaughters Catherine and Emily Carey. He was especially interested in environmental issues, philately, and genealogical research. Memorial services will be held in Phoenix, June 16, and in New Point, IN, June 23, 2007; details to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy (800-628-6860, Memorial Account 10450446) or to the charity of your choice.

Remembrances (please add yours)

* Larry and Shirley in June 2005 3349henchen anniv.JPG

* Larry Henschen, Molly and Michael Shaw, David Zahrt, and Shirley Henschen, June 2005
3331shawzahrthenchen 800 600.jpg

  • David and I met Shirley and Larry and later the rest of their family when we moved to Phoenix. Shirley kindly and ably worked hard at our business there. Larry and Shirley became our great friends. If you go on the tour at NASA near Houston, there is a huge building that has a replica of one of the space shuttle modules in it. Right under and in front of it is a desk. That was Larry’s desk. He tested the computer workings of the shuttle to make sure all would go okay before launch. Larry and Shirley went on a trip to Mexico with the Heard Museum in the 1990s. While there, they were taken to a school. The school had solar energy but it wasn’t working. Larry and Shirley raised money and interest among their tour group and later Larry and one or two other men went back to Mexico with supplies and tools and got the school’s solar power working again. Larry and Shirley built a beautiful home in the ICA community north of Puerto Vallarta. I have visited them there with each of my husbands. Each time, they came into Puerto Vallarta and picked us up and hosted us like we were at an exotic resort somewhere, which in truth we were. Larry and Shirley tried to teach David and I to play bridge and we did have fun at it. Larry and Shirley were quite a team at that! David and Larry worked on the lights and the solar systems there for both Larry and Shirley’s home and for Ray Caruso’s. Larry and Shirley’s home is up for sale if anyone is interested. It is off the grid. Entirely solar including a refrigerator that freezes cold enough for ice and ice cream. They have two water cisterns, one ten thousand and one fifteen thousand gallons, that collect and purify rainwater. It is up the hill from the beach and ocean. We watched whales cavorting in the bay there. It is gorgeous, white with arches on porches on two sides, beautiful woodwork, bananas that taste like apples in the yard. When Larry was a child he had a nick name of Sparky because of his interest in how things like spark plugs worked. These are just a few of my memories (possibly not so accurate :o) of a dear friend. -- Ann Shafer - 29 Apr 2007

Well, I have to say a word about Larry. We first met at one of the early Movemental Order Councils--it may even have been the very first one in 1966. I can recall how full of excitement he was then over what he'd been a part of accomplishing in Framingham, MA--which was one of our earliest applications of the 5th City presuppositions outside of Chicago. I think we recognized each other from the start as fellow regional warriors, and we struck up a lasting colleagueship and friendship. There was always an edge in our relationship--a bit competitive, probably (we were guys, after all!)--and neither of us hesitated for a moment to challenge or push the other's thinking, assumptions, acting or mode of being. It was always good natured, but it was also deeply serious.

We mainly saw and worked together at the summer programs and councils in Chicago up through 1970. That fall, those of us in the Detroit Region were preparing to start the Detroit House, with Len and Elaine Hockley among the prime movers. By this time, Larry and Shirley had moved into the Symbolic Order, and their 1970-71 assignment was to none other than the new Detroit House.

Our family didn't make the shift to Symbolic Order that year, but we saw the Henschens a lot during it. I was still on the faculty at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and it seems at least once a month I would make the three-hour drive to Detroit for some activity at the House, or Larry and Shirley would be in Kalamazoo for some activity there or just as part of their circuiting the region. I was supposedly making an effort that year to see how far I could get toward finishing my doctoral dissertation, while at the same time teaching EI courses around the country about every third weekend. I acknowledged that I wasn't making much progress on getting it written, and Larry proposed that I come to the House on every free weekend I had. They would create a Monk's Cell for me there, where I would in effect be cloistered, isolated from all the distractions of life, and could focus with purity of heart on my writing.

We actually did this for several weekends that year. The trouble, as you might guess, was that, instead of staying in my cell with quill pen scratching on parchment, he and I would get into extended conversations about the Local Church Experiment that we'd launched that year, and I'd wind up making little progress on my writing. We soon both became aware that this effort was a pleasant fiction that we were using to have our missional conversations. Before the year was up, Roxana and I had made the decision to become part of the Symbolic Order ourselves, and the dissertation project was packed away.

When the Order structures ended in 1988, our family was in Asia and Larry's in the US. That summer assembly in Mexico was the last ICA gathering at which we shared perspectives and drinks. Larry subsequently had his own falling out with ICA, as the organization in the US went through its post-Order traumas, and we thereafter saw each other only infrequently. After our family returned to the US several years later, there were times I'd try to connect with him, especially in the latter '90s when I happened to be in Phoenix for meetings. Prickly as ever, Larry would make a point on the phone of assuring me that, while I was always welcome in their home, I'd damn well better not be raising money for the organization! I was always quick to assure him that, while I fully intended to work him over, extracting money from him was the last thing on my mind. When we did manage to get together on these occasions, Shirley was always the gentle presence that ensured our interchanges stayed on a collegial plane.

I'm sure that many of my colleagues didn't find Larry the easiest person to work with. He had a highly developed bullshit detector, which was pretty much always active. This had at times to prove irritating to those around him. Once convinced that something was the necessary deed, however, Larry always put his whole being into making it happen. It was just that he did require solid convincing. He always had that characteristic slightly crooked smile--the outward manifestation of his highly developed sense of humor--something that allowed him, even when hurt or angry, to find some comedic elements in any given situation.

I celebrate Larry's completed life. We shared many similar experiences from the early days of the movement and then found ourselves on paths that led in somewhat different directions. He was always one of my great colleagues in the spirit movement.

Gordon Harper -- GordonHarper - 30 Apr 2007 - 23:51
  • -- WayneNelson - 14 Aug 2008 - 16:53
  • One interesting thing - Larry looked the same from the day I met him until the day ofthat last pic. Amazing -- WayneNelson - 14 Aug 2008 - 16:54

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
150px-larry_henschen_badge.jpgjpg 150px-larry_henschen_badge.jpg manage 6 K 29 Apr 2007 - 19:20 UnknownUser  
300px-larry_henschen_badge.jpgjpg 300px-larry_henschen_badge.jpg manage 18 K 29 Apr 2007 - 19:19 UnknownUser  
3331shawzahrthenchen_800_600.jpgjpg 3331shawzahrthenchen_800_600.jpg manage 90 K 29 Apr 2007 - 19:13 TimWegner Shaws, Zahrts, and Henschens
3349henchen_anniv.JPGJPG 3349henchen_anniv.JPG manage 608 K 29 Apr 2007 - 17:04 TimWegner  
igp_99b7a5db3dd3de20b40275ba8c16058d_larry_henschen_badge.jpgjpg igp_99b7a5db3dd3de20b40275ba8c16058d_larry_henschen_badge.jpg manage 6 K 15 May 2011 - 16:42 UnknownUser  
larry_henschen_badge.jpgjpg larry_henschen_badge.jpg manage 19 K 28 Apr 2007 - 20:49 TimWegner Larry Henschen's Boeing Badge
Topic revision: r12 - 26 May 2013, TimWegner
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