HENRY, James Vesten
Born August 31, 1931, passed at home on the morning of September 8, 2021. He lived an extraordinary life, growing up in rural Monterey, Tennessee, during the Great Depression, where he developed his long-abiding passions for faith, family, hard work and music. His
father, Vesten, worked both as a coal miner and in a quarry, and was also a fantastic banjo player. His mother, Mildred, always worked hard to keep the family fed and clothed, even when times were hard, and taught all her children to read the Bible and put their faith in God's Word. He developed an appreciation for hard work at an early age. When he was 10 years old, he joined his father, picking tomatoes, in the fields of Indiana. In his teens, he moved to Dayton, Ohio, working first at the International Envelope Company. His passion for automobiles led him to join Texaco and, later, the Shell Oil Company, where he thrived, successfully owning and managing several service stations. Jim was an entrepreneur at heart, and became a self-made business man through his hard efforts. He owned and operated a Shell Service station at the corner of 3rd and Findlay Streets in East Dayton, in the early 1960's. He later transitioned this location into a new business, Henry Tire, where he operated for the next quarter century. There, he merged his many interests - in cars, music, history and faith. He always found a way to start a conversation with everyone who came to his store. His business also became his ministry, and he spoke to his employees and customers often, in his unique down-to-earth manner, about his faith. His actions mirrored his words; it became well-known throughout Dayton that he ran an honest business. He helped countless people who came to his store, needing help with their car, but with little means. He always was able to get them on their way, and hundreds still remember his acts of kindness towards them, many years later. His gentle, humble, respectful manner, his homespun wit and wisdom, his natural skills as a peacemaker, his photographic memory and his easy laugh will never be forgotten by those who knew him. He grew up in an era when many Americans used trains to travel, and maintained a lifelong interest in them. He actively worked on researching the family's genealogy, and had a major role in "Imprints in Time", a movie about the history of the Henry family that was aired on public television in four different cities. He was a talented guitar player and songwriter, penning many songs that he hoped to publish someday. People looked forward to his arrival at any event, because of the life and laughter he brought with him, and he was always the last to leave. He enjoyed everything he did, and everyone he was with. He would often tell people, "Take your time," because he believed life had more value when people weren't racing through it. He was a deeply loving father and husband to his family, honest and kind. Most of all he kept a strong, lifelong relationship with his Savior. He brought many to the Lord through his words and actions. He lived the words of Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." He walked close with the Lord every day, and enjoyed a real, life-long relationship with Him and kept Him in his heart. He walks now closer still. James is survived by his beloved wife Nancy, his son Jeff, his daughters Cathy, Connie and Belinda, his grandchildren, Trey, Kelly, Brooke, Sarah, Heather,
Elizabeth, Rachel, Samuel, Shahrazad and Sapphira, his great-grandchildren, Owen, Isla, Preston, Bryce and Keaton, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his first wife Joyce, his parents, Vesten and Mildred, his brother Howard, his sisters Jessie, Grace, Ruth, and Rosie, and his son Mark and daughter Debbie. Services will be at Mt. Zion Park Cemetery in Beavercreek, on Friday, September 24 at 2PM, performed by Pastor Howard Bullard of Ben Davis Creek Christian Church. Jennifer Mullins, James Henrys' niece, will read a remembrance of his life. Music will be performed by Pastor Dirk van Doesburg of CLC Dayton. "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." - 2 Corinthians 5:8. We thank all the people who helped take care of Jim - the medical professionals, EMT's and respite care providers who were there for Jim and the family. We thank God for the blessing of dad, and for all the time we were given with him. Arrangements entrusted to the Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home, Vandalia.