Henry grew up in Marrietta, NY and was the oldest child of Edmund and Bertha Leubner. When his Dad died suddenly, Henry took over the family farm before he completed his education at Marcellus Central Schools.
On August 14, 1948 Henry married the love of his life and soulmate Ella Louise Dye at Rose Hill Baptist Church. This event began the establishment of our huge family tree. Henry and Ella were blessed with 10 children, Henry Jr. (Rebecca Slater), Jane (Donald LaMay), Debra (Thomas Roe), Daniel (Terri Tucker), Mark (Carol Townsend), Melody (Thomas Notarpole), Sherry (John Kucher), Paul (Lisa Nelson), Jonathan (Kara Day), and Tom (Lisa Spearing). From these 10 families Henry and Ella have been blessed with 42 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. So, what is a legacy? Papa put his mark on all our futures and they will be carried on for generations and generations to come.
Henry worked his own farm on Benson Road until he bagan working at New Venture Gear, where he worked until he retired. While at NPG “Hank” was known for handing out Our Daily Bread devotionals to everyone he came into contact with, along with a lot of stinky cheese. Sharing his faith and the message of salvation wasn’t just a hobby, it was a deep passion he held. Dad was especially burdened for those who had not yet placed their trust and hearts with the lifesaving knowledge of Jesus.
Dad’s passions besides his family, included spending time at his pond feeding the ducks and napping at his cabin. He was always in awe as he looked at God’s creation around him. He was marveled by how beautiful the screnery was whereever he went. He also collected 2-cylinder John Deere tractors, taught Sunday school, and he LOVED food, especially limberger cheese.
Although Dad had this tough, rock solid exterior, he had a soft spot in his heart for ALL “his” babies (no matter their age).
Dad enjoyed his daily excursions to destinations unknown to us all. You would hear, “going to the city” and he’d be gone for hours. He would then return so excited over his “sale” purchase – that he had driven 100 miles to get.
One of my favorite parts of Dad was that no matter your name, he would always re-name you. These special nicknames have forever stuck and always make us laugh.
We wanted to include some of Dad’s favorite bible verses, but after looking at his bible, there are more verses underlined than not. I truly believe I speak for all of us, it was an honor and a privilege to call him Dad and Papa. I can clearly hear Jesus saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant – welcome home”.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 1st at 11am at Rose Hill Baptist Church. Calling hours will be on Friday from 4 to 7pm at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles. Henry will be buried in Thorn Hill Cemetery. Lieu of flowers donations can be made to Rose Hill Baptist Church, 2609 Rose Hill Rd. Marietta, NY 13110.
To send condolences, visit robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.