Harold W. Henry, 84, an Eden Valley farmer, died Wednesday (Nov. 20, 2002) in Mercy Hospital.
He and his brothers, Walter and Earl, were the third generation of their family to own and operate W.D. Henry & Sons, a 450-acre farm founded in 1888. Now operated by his two sons, it received the Governor's Agriculture Award in 1992 and the New York State Century Farm Award in 1997 and was featured in the Millennium special section of The Buffalo News in 1999.
Established as a dairy farm, it gradually shifted to vegetables in the 1940s and shifted again in the 1960s to focus on flowers and plants grown in greenhouses.
Born in Eden, Henry was a 1935 graduate of Hamburg High School and received an associate's degree in agriculture from Cornell University in 1939. He sang with the Cornell Glee Club.
For 50 years, he made predawn drives with his produce to Buffalo's wholesale markets. In recent years, he was semi-retired.
"When I was a boy, our most profitable crop was lettuce," he told News reporter Andrew Z. Galarneau in 1999. "The first spring vegetables used to be a treat for people."
Henry was a past president and secretary-treasurer of the New York State Vegetable Growers Association, a former president of the Niagara Frontier Growers Cooperative Market, a director of Eden Valley Growers and a member of the Erie County 4-H program committee and the 4-H vegetable crops advisory committee.
He also was president of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Eden, and a director of Marine Midland Bank, Hamburg.
Surviving are his wife of 59 years, the former Alice Scheidt; three sons, Stephen of Hamburg and William and Mark, both of Eden; a daughter, Suzanne Henry Boies of Mahopac; two brothers, Earl and Walter, both of Eden; a sister, Bernice Fitcheit of Poughkeepsie; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 3487 N. Boston Road, Eden. Burial will be in the church cemetery.