Obituary: Hildred Josephine Henry

Hildy Henry

Hildred Josephine Henry

June 27, 1929 ~ July 20, 2019

Hildred Josephine Henry, 90, was born on June 27, 1929, in Meeker, Colorado, and grew up between the family ranch just outside Meeker and a log house in town called “The Garrison.” She was the daughter of Richard and Sara Lough of Meeker, Colorado, and sister to John, Charlie and Dave Lough. She passed away peacefully on July 20, 2019, in Santa Rosa, California.

Hildred or Hildy as she is known by everyone, graduated Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, with a Bachelor’s Degree in art. Her initial goal was a career in occupational therapy so her emphasis was on tactile art forms and crafts. Little did she realize at that time she would become a prominent painter of fine furniture and decorative accessories.

Marriage and family side-tracked her until 1964 when the family moved to Healdsburg, California, where she opened an arts and crafts store called The Arbor on the Healdsburg plaza and later another store at Mayette Village in Santa Rosa. The stores grew into a gallery, gifts, arts and crafts and educational facilities offering classes in many mediums by herself and other teachers.

Hildy began to focus on decorative painting with an emphasis on the ethnic folk art of European countries, expanding her career as a professional decorative artist with work in galleries and decorator shops throughout the United States. She collaborated with other artists, including Gail Packer, by painting frames to complement Gail’s work. Hildy was a past president and active member of the California Rosemaling Association and Wine Country Decorative Painters. Being the adventurist, Hildy organized and offered painting vacations with guest artists called Creative Leisure Seminars for a couple of years on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hildy moved from Healdsburg to Santa Rosa where she continued to teach and paint out of her studio home until 2015 when she moved to Villa Capri, an assisted living facility, until it burned in the Tubbs fire. She is survived by her ex-husband Franklin Henry of Yountville, California, and children David Henry of Bainbridge Island, Washington; Tricia Henry, Stephen Henry and honorary son Thomas Buckingham of Santa Rosa, California.