CLAREMORE, Okla. — George Franklin Henry, 97, a former longtime Parsons resident, died at 11:48 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Brookdale Assisted Living Facility in Claremore, Oklahoma. He and his wife, Yvonne, had lived in Claremore since the fall of 1995.
He was born on June 18, 1923, in Parsons to Elmer Roscoe “Hi” and Cecil Marie (Hornback) Henry. He was named after his grandfathers, George Washington Henry and Abel Franklin Hornback.
George attended Washington Elementary School and graduated from Parsons High School in 1941. While in high school, George attended the American Legion’s Sunflower Boys State. He also played baseball and basketball. His 1941 basketball team was undefeated and played in the Kansas state basketball tournament in Topeka. At the request of the governor, they toured and played an exhibition game at the governor’s mansion.
He attended Parsons Junior College and then enlisted in the Army in May 1942. He was in the 78th Lightning Brigade Company before being accepted into the Army Air Corps in March 1943. He was a flight officer at Alamo Field, San Antonio, where he taught many men to fly for combat, including pilots from Bolivia, until November 1945.
After World War II, he received a diploma from Parsons Junior College and then went to the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, graduating in 1949. He was employed by Standard Advertising Printing Co. in Fort Scott before becoming a commercial artist and art director for Sun Graphics in Parsons. He retired in 1988.
While in Parsons, George was involved with Gideon’s International and the Parsons Lions Club. He and his family attended the Lions Club International Convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the summer of 1964.
George was a deacon and elder at Central Avenue Christian Church and First Christian Church in Parsons. He was a greeter at Destiny Life Church in Claremore, Oklahoma, and became known as “Mr. Fix It” while his wife was principal of the Claremore Christian School.
In 2012, George flew to Washington, D.C., with the Oklahoma Honor Flight to honor American veterans.
On June 18, 1949, he and Yvonne Muchmore were married at First Baptist Church in Parsons. He had been an active member of both the Baptist and Christian churches in Parsons and was a member of Destiny Life Church in Claremore.
Surviving are two daughters and sons-in-law, Dru and Doyle Parlett of Altamont and Lisa and Dr. Ed Gilsleider of Claremore; seven grandchildren, Rob (Megan) Carnahan of Parsons, Craig (Lori) Carnahan of Altamont, Tamara (Craig) Males of Coffeyville, Cambria (Scott) Campbell of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Jordan (Danielle) Gilsleider of Verdigris, Oklahoma, Nathan (Laura) Gilsleider of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Luke Gilsleider of Claremore; 17 great-grandchildren, Claire, Chase, Alice and Amelia Carnahan, Kennedy and Keeley Carnahan, Daxon and Brayden Males, Callie, Cole, Cyah and Case Campbell, Harrison, Karsten and Elizabeth Gilsleider, Ryder Gilsleider and another great-grandchild on the way; and a special niece, Bunny Muchmore, and other nieces and nephews, Donna Puckett, Bob Burnett, Richard Burnett and Tim Muchmore.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne Henry, who died Dec. 13, 2016; a brother, Gene Henry, who died April 22, 1989; a sister, Dorothy Burnett, who died May 12, 2006; two nephews, Jerry Henry, who died Dec. 30, 2018, and Steve Muchmore, who died Jan. 3, 2003; and a great-granddaughter, Carley Grace Carnahan, who died Nov. 16, 2010.
The graveside service will at 11 a.m. Friday at Oakwood Cemetery with military honors given by Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Friends may call at Carson-Wall Funeral Home at their convenience.
Memorials are suggested to Claremore Christian School and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.