Graveside services for Harold Don Henson will be held at 2:00 PM, Mon., Jan. 10, 2022 in the Portales Cemetery.
Harold Don Henson, the truest definition of “cowboy,'' passed peacefully into the arms of his savior on December 14, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Born on January 19, 1922, he was called home early–just one month shy of his 100th birthday.
Born in Shallowater, Texas, and forged in the Great Depression era, Harold was headstrong and independent from a very young age. By the time he was 8, his family had moved around Texas: Shallowater to Hurlwood, Lubbock, Sudan, and then Slaten. At age 11, and deep into the Depression, they again moved in search of work, this time to Portales, New Mexico.
In a period when nothing was wasted, Harold grew up having to learn to be resourceful, repairing and making things work with whatever was available. He was practical, self-sufficient, and innovative throughout most of his life, and passed those “can-do” traits on to his sons, and their children as well. He was intelligent in ways that would take the average man 3 lifetimes to acquire. Harold was humble, even-keeled, and possessed a disarmingly calm nature. He was a good listener, which served as a
perfect complement to being a barber.
In 1942 he left for war, predisposed to be a “Pony Soldier”, until the Army “dismounted” his division in 1943. He was regrouped into the 1st Cavalry Division, 5th Regiment, as a “Heavy Machine Gun Operator”. Harold was sent first to Australia, then the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea, then Luzon Island in the Philippines in1944. Finally, in 1945, he marched with his troop through Tokyo, and witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender from the Battleship Missouri–“the Mighty Mo.”
Upon returning from the war in October 1945, he proposed to his awaiting sweetheart, Marie Owen. Harold attended Barber College that same year, and graduated in 1946 as a “Journeyman Practitioner of Barber Sciences.” He opened a shop in Portales with–and barbered alongside–his father.
Harold and Marie were married in 1947, and they had 2 sons: Larry Don in 1948, and Robert Rand in 1951. In 1955, Harold purchased a home, and relocated his family to Phoenix, AZ, where he built and opened “The Outpost Barber Shop” in 1956. He cut hair well into his 80s for numerous military, politicians, first responders, family, neighbors, and friends. Harold was well known and loved in the community he lived and served in for 66+ years.
Highlights of his life include: marrying Marie Owen; raising their sons, enjoying his extended family; being a barber, a business owner, a WWII Veteran, and spending time with his friend’s at the American Legion.
He is survived by his 2 sons, 2 daughter-in-laws, 6 grandchildren, 9 greats, 3 great-greats (and 2 more on the way).
Harold was a friend to all that met him, and is already sorely missed.