Mr. Henry “Hank” Harvey, 79, crossed the bridge to an eternal life on Friday evening, Nov. 30, 2012, from Wichita.
Henry Barnett Harvey was the fourth child of six, born during the union of Walter L. and Katherine (Payne) Harvey. This birth took place June 23, 1933, in Topeka.
Henry, who was lovingly known as “Hank,” left high school at the age of 16 to pursue a career in the U.S. Air Force, which permitted him to live in different parts of the United States and also allowed him to see the world. A few of the many places he lived in or traveled to were: Greece, Germany, Alaska, Thailand and Tripoli North Africa. Henry was fluent in German, Greek and Thai. While in the Air Force, “Hankum” became a boxer and received the Golden Glove Title. He retired from the Air Force with honors after 20 years of service.
While stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Putney, Ga., Hank met Alice Jefferson. The two married on March 8, 1953; together they had six children. On June 22, 1971, the Lord called their firstborn — Collins W. Harvey, home.
After retiring, Henry continued his education in the geology department at Wichita State University and received his bachelor's degree in geology. He was recognized in 2005 as the first African American to graduate from this department.
Hank traveled Kansas/Oklahoma for many years working as a site geologist. Henry was a member of the Rising Sun #69 Masonic Lodge since 1977. He was to receive his 33rd degree next year. He also was a member of Hall’s Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He served on the trustee board, finance committee and as secretary treasurer.
Henry had many hobbies. His most-prized hobby was creating a numerical system for his family’s geological book. Hank loved his family, children, cooking, model planes, collecting whiskey decanters, watching westerns and reading.
Henry leaves to cherish his memories his long-time companion, Joyce Simmons. He also leaves his children, whom he raised as a single parent — sons, Fred B. (Deborah) Harvey of Duncanville, Texas, Walter L. Harvey of North Augusta, S.C., and William T. Harvey of Newton; daughters, Veronica D. (Donald) Thaw of Newton, and Jacqueline A. Harvey-Pryor of Wichita; stepchildren, Eric Hankins of Chicago, Anthony Hankins of Wichita, Angela Reed of Wichita and Maurice Simmons of Wichita.
Henry leaves two brothers, Howard (Brenda) Harvey of Grandview, Mo., and John L. Watson of Augusta; sister, Sylvia (James) Kelly of Newton; brothers, Herbert Tolbert and David Harvey preceded him in death. Henry will be missed by his 14 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. He is loved by nieces, nephews and a host of family and friends.
The celebration of Hank’s life and his arrival in his new Home will be Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at two hours past noon in the most holy sanctuary of Tabernacle Bible Church, 1817 N. Volutsia St., Wichita. A repast in Newton at Hall’s Chapel AME, 711 E. 11th St., will follow the service.