City officials, friends remember Havre de Grace's Duane Henry

Duane Henry was remembered fondly at Havre de Grace's city council meeting Monday.

The longtime city businessman, journalist, political pundit, raconteur and practical jokester, who was 85, died at Perry Point VA Medical Center on Dec. 14.

Council members Bill Martin and John Correri especially noted that even though Mr. Henry never officially served in political office, he was heavily involved in city politics.

Mr. Henry was a multi-talented man who also played a major part in Havre de Grace's rise to prominence as a waterfowl art center over the past 30 years.

He had a particular interest in Havre de Grace city politics, current city officials recalled, and did not suffer fools gladly when it came to the people who sat in the mayor's office and on the city council dais, especially those whom he thought had become too self-important for their own good.

"He was an agitator when it came to politics, but deep down he had a good heart and was a compassionate person," recalled Todd Holden, of Bel Air, who became a 45-year-friend and was a sometimes competitor to Mr. Henry in the 1960s and 1970s, when Holden was a reporter for The Aegis covering Havre de Grace and Mr. Henry was publishing several small community papers and newsletters.

Holden said they were both involved in news and commercial photography and their long friendship developed through a variety of mutual interests.

Holden also said his own friendship with the late Sammy Magness, one of Havre de Grace's enduring characters in his own right, began through Mr. Henry, who Holden said had befriended Mr. Magness, "and we both helped him [Magness] with photography, acquiring bicycles, cameras...and a Jack Russell [terrier] or two."

"Duane and I would work on side projects, as well, and he was the only person I took with me when I covered the big Club 40 drug raid...we scooped every newspaper in the state on that one," Holden recalled.

"In his own right Duane was a good photo-journalist, and we both were competitive, and yet, good pals," Holden continued. "He and his wife took me and my wife, Ann, to Montreal a couple of times and to New York trade shows at the Javits Center."

Holden said he had hoped to do a book around their photography, their times together and their experiences, but the project never came to fruition after Mr. Henry became too ill.

"We would share stories whenever I was in Havre de Grace but, alas, his health failed and when I visited him at Perry Point the stories didn't come anymore," Holden added.

Services for Mr. Henry were Wednesday. A complete obituary is on Page 6 of The Record this week.

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