Nov. 22, 1961 – April 9, 2018
Doug Henry was still in high school when he started his first enterprise, D&H Builders.
His early projects involved making improvements to add-on rooms in mobile homes in Leisurewood Campground in Newstead, where his parents had a trailer.
“He put insulation in them,” said his brother, Robert, who worked with him for many years. “He put up paneling. It made them warmer and homier.”
He went on to build sheds and then did remodeling and general contracting in Alden and surrounding communities for 20 years. But that was just one of many interests.
His main focus in recent years was the family business, Henry’s Candy and Gifts on Broadway in the heart of the Village of Alden.
“He was looking forward to expanding the business,” his brother said. “He had dreams and plans.”
He died unexpectedly Monday in his home in Alden. He was 56.
Born in Buffalo, Douglas M. Henry was the oldest of three boys. He inherited his entrepreneurial spirit from his parents.
His father had a photography business and delivered mail on a rural postal route. He also organized the annual Alden Community Day at Crystal Beach amusement park. His mother began making candy for Easter at home in 1966 and 10 years later opened the candy store.
As a teen, Mr. Henry and his brothers delivered the Penny Saver in Alden and he was an usher at the former AMC Como 8 theaters.
He was a 1979 graduate of Alden Central High School and attended Morrisville State College.
Returning from college, he started a commercial and residential snowplowing service in 1980 and in 1983 began filling in as a substitute on his father’s mail delivery route. When his father retired in 1994, he serviced the route full time until 2005.
For many years, he had been a seasonal maintenance man for Alden Central School. He had a woodworking shop on Railroad Avenue in Alden. He opened a branch of Henry’s Candy and Gifts in downtown Lockport and operated it for a few years.
“He was a jack of all trades and actually a master of all trades,” his brother said. “He knew how to do anything and everything. He could just look at a project and figure out what needed to be done.”
After his mother died, Mr. Henry bought the candy business from his father in 2005. In the summer, he set up a Henry’s Candy Fudge Stand in the Alden Farmers Market.
He was a member of the Village Planning Board and the board of directors of Alden Evergreen Cemetery.
He had been a volunteer firefighter with the Alden Fire Department since 1983.
“He helped everybody,” his brother said. “You made a call, he was there.”
Survivors include his father, Paul; another brother, David; nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in Alden Presbyterian Church, 13298 Broadway.