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Earle H. Henness

August 11, 1934 - September 26, 2016


Earle Henness was born August 11, 1934 to Glenn and Lola Henness in the small community of Gates, Oregon. He was the baby of the family, joining his two older brothers Clare and Keith.  He spoke of the small school he attended in Gates and was quite proud of the fact that his graduating class was one of the largest, a class of nine.

After high school graduation he joined the Army and spent his tour of duty in Germany as a radioman. He took advantage of his extra time traveling to neighboring countries.

Returning home, he continued his education at Monmouth, receiving his bachelor’s degree in accounting. During this time he met Geri Norris, who he later married. Six years later came children; Jill, followed by Mark.
Earle had short stints with many businesses as an accountant, including the IRS. After leaving the IRS, he opened his own accounting practice in Beaverton, Oregon.

After retiring he bought a small print shop in Salem, Oregon. He loved setting type on his antique presses, printing miniature books, cards, and brochures.

Earle had many interests. He was a better-than-average photographer and a wonderful printer, teaching at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts. He liked astronomy, taking his telescope to the highest spots. He had a large collection of rare books on printing. He haunted antiquarian bookstores, sometimes traveling out of state to purchase a rare book to add to his collection.

In 1983 his marriage to Geri ended. He later married Joan Bates, a high school classmate.

A stroke in 1996 left him paralyzed on his right side. The stroke was devastating to him. He lost his ability to work at his print shop, to write and to speak, and sadly, to read his beloved collection of books.

The boy in him renewed his interest in model railroading. He spent many hours trying to build track and scenery with his one good hand.

He was proud of his children and grandchildren, daughter Jill of Salem and her sons Nathan and Jared, and appreciated the extraordinary kindness of her friend Carl. Son Mark (Brooke) and their children Kjell, Kieren, Haden and Charlotte, live in Henderson, Nevada. Stepson Byron Bates and his children Jimmy and Shannon live in Bakersfield, California.

Joan tried desperately to keep Earle at home and out of a nursing home, which she did for almost 20 years. We like to think now he is whole again and reading his favorite boo with his dog Mindi curled up by his side.

Earle and Joan loved watching Masterpiece on OPB. In lieu of flowers, contributions to OPB or to the Humane Society can be made in his memory.

Earle’s wishes were a simple graveside service for the family at Fairview Cemetery in Gates followed by a celebration of his life with his friends and family at Rudy’s (Salem Golf Course), Thursday, October 6th at 1:00pm. 

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