John Gordon Henry was born May 2, 1929, at the farm south of Creston to Alfred and Della (McPherren) Henry. He and the family lived in Nebraska and Oregon before returning to the Shannon City area. He graduated from Shannon City High School in 1947. He went to college for a short time in Ames. He hitch-hiked back home, which made his dad mad, but he had to get home to see Shirley.
John married Shirley Weber on May 24, 1950 in Afton. Soon after they were married, John was drafted into the United States Marine Corps and served from February 26, 1952 until February 15, 1954 during the Korean War. They moved to California and their first child, Deborah Jean, was born while he was in the service. Upon his return from the service, he returned home to Iowa where Pamela Joan, Sheryl Anne, Suzanne Kay, Kevin John, Kimberly Diane, Bruce James, Brian Dean and Michelle Lisa were added to the family.
To support all these children, John owned and operated the Sale Barn in Mt. Ayr and the skating rinks in Mt. Ayr and Creston. He also farmed and sold real estate. He served on the Mt. Ayr City Council and the Ringgold County Fair Board.
John enjoyed the outdoors, loved hunting and fishing and collecting rocks. He brought them home and polished them. He enjoyed being out in his shop woodworking. He also had a green thumb. John and Shirley spent many years camping at the State Fair and managing the Old Mill. He was also an amazing cook!
John is survived by wife Shirley Henry, Creston; Eight children: Pamela (husband Mark) Wall, Grimes; Sheryl (husband Fred) Gramm, Stratton, CO; Suzanne Calhoun, Colorado Springs, CO; Kevin (wife Rose) Henry, Creston; Kimberly (husband Jay) Moore, Broomfield, CO; Bruce Henry, Burnsville, MN; Brian (wife Mary) Henry, Broomfield, CO; and Michelle (husband Steve) Rhine, Des Moines; Brother: Richard (wife Betty) Henry, Holton, MO; Brothers-in-law: Jack Vicker, Creston; and David (wife Natalie) Weber, Arizona; his son-in-law: Tim Shelley, Creston; Twenty-four Grandchildren; Twenty-two Great-Grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceding John in death were his parents; Daughter, Deb Shelley; Grandchildren: Sawyer Rhine and Caleb Moore; Brothers: Howard and Dale Henry; Infant Sister: Halcyon Henry; Brothers-in-law: Bob, Gene, Larry and Dick Weber; and Sisters-in-law: Dolores Christensen and Diana Vicker.