Robert Henley Obituary

Robert H. Henley
Robert H. Henley

December 1, 1929 - November 19, 2018
Born in Akron, Ohio
Resided in Williamsville, New York
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November 19, 2018, age 88. Beloved husband of 65 years to Jean (nee Petrash) Henley; loving father of Michael (Laurie) Henley, Susan (Frederick Frolick) Henley and Peter Henley; cherished grandfather of Tori (Dylag), Sara, Michael Jr., Louis, Jessica, Gina, Spencer, Margo, Camille and Elam; adored great-grandfather of Delia, Carter, Hunter, Henley and Harley; caring brother of Joan (Ken) Laforge, Mary Ann (John) Bisessi, Carol (Tom) Carter, the late Thomas (Patricia) and Gregory (Norma) Henley; also survived by nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at the (Amherst Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 5200 Sheridan Drive (corner of Hopkins Road) at 11 AM. Friends invited. If desired, memorials may be made to YMCA Camp Weona. Share condolences at
Buffalo News Obituary

Dec. 1, 1929 — Nov. 19, 2018

Robert H. Henley was a successful businessman whose companies constructed the foundations of many large developments across the northeast.

His younger son Peter said that after years of owning and operating H.M. Foundations and Northeast Caissons, Mr. Henley "could go anywhere in the northeast United States, whether it was the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga, the Erie County Courthouse or the University at Buffalo, and he could see the fruits of his labor."

Mr. Henley, of Williamsville, died in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on Nov. 19. He was 88.

Mr. Henley was born Dec. 1, 1929, in St. Thomas Hospital, Barberton, Ohio, the first child of Irene (Schiffer) and Henry Henley, an attorney. Known as Bob, Mr. Henley was the brother of Thomas, Gregory, Joan, MaryAnn and Carol.

Mr. Henley attended high school at St. Vincent Preparatory School in Latrobe, Pa., then enrolled at John Carroll University in Ohio to study business administration.

But his education was interrupted by the Korean War. On Feb. 17, 1953, Mr. Henley joined the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant, attending Officers Candidate School.

He met Jean Marilyn Petrash at a dance, and while he was on leave, the two were married on April 11, 1953, in St. Augustine Catholic Church in Barberton.

Soon afterward, Mr. Henley became a 1st Lieutenant, Special Army Personnel with the Air Force's 31st Aviation Group in Korea. He received the Military National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal and was discharged on Feb. 29, 1956.

He never returned to college, but on Oct. 11, 2011, in a special ceremony for those who didn’t receive diplomas because of military service, Mr. Henley received a bachelor of humane letters from John Carroll University.

Mr. Henley began working for McKinney Drilling Co., which sent him and his family, including children Michael, Susan and Peter, to Australia for a year in 1962. They returned to Ohio briefly, then moved to Western New York, where Mr. Henley ran the company's local division. The family lived on Briarhurst Road in Amherst for decades.

In 1966, Mr. Henley and Peter G. Murphy founded H.M. Foundations Inc. "He handled the financial and administrative parts of the business, but he'd do whatever had to be done," said Peter Henley. "He drove trucks; they used to park big trucks in our driveway at night."

Some 20 years later, they dissolved H.M. Foundations, and Mr. Henley founded Northeast Caissons Inc., with his wife and two sons. In 1991, his sons took it over.

In 2006, the family sold Northeast Caissons, but Mr. Henley, who was 77, wanted to continue working in the foundation industry. He helped the Herbert F. Darling Co. form the foundation drilling company Dardrill Inc., and worked there until he retired in 2018.

Mr. Henley was an avid motorcyclist who completed numerous road trips. On his longest trip, in the 1990s, when he was in his 60s, he and riding partner Clint Ivins of Mead Supply shipped their bikes to a Vancouver dealership, flew there and rode home. Mr. Henley kept his 1983 Honda Goldwing until July 2013, when he sold it, ending his riding days.

In his 50s, he became an avid runner, competing in many 5K races. Even in his later years Mr. Henley could be found rollerblading and bouncing on a trampoline with his grandchildren.

Mr. Henley spent more than 50 years assisting YMCA Camp Weona. Two of his children went to camp there, and Mr. Henley "just fell in love with the place," said Peter Henley. As a member of the board, he oversaw many building projects at the camp. Mrs. Henley was also active with the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara, and in 1987, the couple received the organization's Gold Key Award, the first time it was given to a couple. The award citation said, "It would be impossible to single out only one of you for this honor."

Mr. Henley was a lifetime member of the Engineering Society of Buffalo, a charter member of the Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY, formerly the Buffalo Builders Exchange, a longtime member of the American Subcontractors Association and a member of the Association of Bridge Construction and Design, the International Association of Foundation Drilling, the Association of Foundation Drilling, the Deep Foundation Institute and Construction Specifications Institute.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Marilyn (Petrash); three children, Michael, Susan and Peter; three sisters, Joan LeForge, MaryAnn Bisesi, and Carol Carter; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 9 in the Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. Contributions may be made to Camp Weona, 1620 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca, N.Y. 14224.





Memorial Service
Amherst Chapel
5200 Sheridan Drive
Amherst, NY US 14221
Sunday, December 9, 2018
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YMCA Camp Weona
1620 Southwestern Blvd.
West Seneca, New York United States 14224