Longtime Dem Mayor Dies After Brutal Health Battle

Longtime Dem Mayor Dies After Brutal Health Battle

Only a few months into his fifth term as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tom Henry died Thursday at the age of 72.

Henry’s death came a day after it was announced that he had suffered a medical emergency related to his stomach cancer, according to The Associated Press.

Henry announced last month that he had been diagnosed with late-stage stomach cancer. He started chemotherapy at the beginning of March.

Henry’s wife, Cindy, died of pancreatic cancer on Jan. 20 at the age of 67.

Henry, a Democrat, was first elected mayor in 2007. He served on the city council from 1984 to 2004.

Henry was one of 17 children and was an Army veteran, according to WANE-TV.

“Mayor Henry was a man of the highest character – a true servant leader who devoted his entire adult life to the betterment of Fort Wayne and its residents,” his family said in a statement.

“He was also the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. We, his family, mourn the loss of Tom with the rest of our community, but we also take great comfort in knowing that he is once again with his beautiful Cindy who passed away from cancer just two months ago.

“We thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers, but also ask for privacy as we grieve Tom’s passing and celebrate his extraordinary life and legacy.”

A statement from Derek Camp, Allen County’s Democratic Party chairman, said Henry “fought to make our city and our county a better place for everyone.”

“Alongside his late wife Cindy, Mayor Henry worked tirelessly to make Fort Wayne a city that everyone could call home,” Camp said per WANE, adding that the “positive legacy of Mayor Henry will be seen and felt for decades.”

Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta said Henry was “a giant in the history of our city,” according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

“Tom’s love of Fort Wayne is what kept him going. Amid intense personal hardship – the loss of his beloved wife Cindy and his cancer diagnosis earlier this year – he kept working for our city as mayor because that’s the type of person he was,” GiaQuinta said.

“I take solace in the fact that Tom will not be forgotten easily. You can see him all over Fort Wayne – in the flourishing small businesses, in kids playing in the parks and in the city skyline irrevocably shaped for the better by his vision and leadership.”

According to the Journal Gazette, Henry said in a 1996 article that he wanted to be remembered as “someone who tried to make a difference.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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