Duane Henry, journalist, decoy carver

Duane Allan Henry, a colorful former newspaperman and advertising agency owner who played a pivotal role in getting Havre de Grace recognized as the "Decoy Capital of the World," died Dec. 14 of heart failure. The Havre de Grace resident was 85.

Following World War II, Mr. Henry settled in Bainbridge and worked as a newspaperman. During the 1960s, he established his own newspaper, the JoppaTowne News Journal, whose name he later changed to the News Advertiser. "He did it all. He sold the ads, wrote the stories, took the photographs and laid out the paper," said his wife of 33 years, the former Christianne Lowe.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Henry and his wife established the Susquehanna Trading Co., a Havre de Grace decoy shop, adjacent to their historic North Union Avenue home. The couple were also founders and charter life members of the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. (Baltimore Sun / December 19, 2011)

Duane Allan Henry, a colorful former newspaperman and advertising agency owner who played a pivotal role in getting Havre de Grace recognized as the "Decoy Capital of the World," died Dec. 14 of heart failure at the Veterans Medical Center at Perry Point.

The Havre de Grace resident was 85.

The son of a railroader and a saleswoman, Duane Allen Henry was born and raised in Olean, N.Y., where he graduated from high school.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a gunner's mate on a Landing Craft Tank and participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

After the war, Mr. Henry settled in Bainbridge and worked as a newspaperman. During the 1960s, he established his own newspaper, the JoppaTowne News Journal, whose name he later changed to the News Advertiser.

"He did it all. He sold the ads, wrote the stories, took the photographs and laid out the paper," said his wife of 33 years, the former Christianne Lowe.

"Duane was a maverick. His paper came out a day before The Aegis did, and when he could, he scooped us," said Todd Holden, a longtime friend and former Aegis reporter and photographer.

"The Aegis hated him but I liked him for his brashness and 'don't give a damn' attitude. He was not the establishment. He was a renegade in the news business," said Mr. Holden.

Mr. Holden recalled when he and Mr. Henry covered a Ku Klux Klan rally in Cecil County.

"I came back with pictures and a story and he got arrested because he was not taking photos where he was told to shoot," he said.

The two competing reporters often shared news tips and went on jobs together.

"I got a tip on the first big drug raid on the county line near the Club 40. This was in the 1960s. So I told Duane and we sat in a field across the road the night of the raid," he said.

"Four hours in the field and then suddenly two rows of police cars from the State Police and Harford and Baltimore counties rolled west on Route 40 and circled the bar. I'd never seen anything like it," he said.

"Off we went across the road, camera in hand. Duane goes roaring in shooting pictures while I stayed outside until it was clear, and then went in," recalled Mr. Holden. "That's the kind of rogue reporter he was. He was fearless."

Mr. Holden recalled a Christmas Eve when a Frederick County couple's car had been hit by a train.

"I was having dinner with my parents when Duane called. He said, 'Don't worry, I'll get some shots for you.' And they were the same ones that he used and we used. That's the kind of friend he was," he said.

Mr. Henry eventually left journalism in the early 1970s, when he established Henry Advertising in Havre de Grace, which he owned and operated for about a decade.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Henry and his wife established the Susquehanna Trading Co., a Havre de Grace decoy shop, adjacent to their historic North Union Avenue home. The couple were also founders and charter life members of the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum.

"The Susquehanna Trading Co. was the very first local retail outlet for most all of the up-and-coming young carvers from the region," said C. John Sullivan Jr., former director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.