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Henry Beasom Boland

Early space program engineer, US Navy veteran, grandfather

Henry Boland died peacefully on December 3, surrounded by his cats Motley and Charlie, his son Hank, and one of his wonderful caregivers, Catalina.

He was born July 31, 1924 and grew up in the small mining town of Globe, Arizona. There he worked in a copper mine before graduating from high school. He then enlisted in the US Navy. After leaving the Navy he moved to the big city, Tucson, and attended the University of Arizona, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. He put that degree to use in one of his favorite jobs, using a slide rule to design and test rocket engines used in America’s embryonic space program.

He loved dogs and took his black lab/boxer mix for a walk twice a day, rain or shine.  Guided by his wife of 50 years, Rose Marie, he became a cat lover later in life.

When the neighborhood kids painted his driveway with chalk in celebration of his birthday, he took pictures of their work and sent them to friends and family. He loved that these kids shared their cat with him for days at a time and that they visited him regularly.    

Mr. Boland was the best dad to his son, Henry R., his daughter, Francie, his daughter-in-law Sally, and a very special grandfather to his grandson, Henry G. and his wife Suzette, his family shared. He was a kind, generous and loyal friend to many people.

“That lucky old sun has nothing to do but roll around heaven all day,” was one of his favorite lyrics from the 1949 hit, “Lucky Old Sun.”

“He has joined the sun on its rounds and will be shining on us every day, just as he did in life,” his family shared.

A celebration of Mr. Boland’s life is planned for January 2019.