Joan Mantel Henry was born in Kansas City, MO on January 4, 1930 to Edward and Bernice Baker Mantel and went home to the Lord July 8, 2016.
As a young girl she made the most important decision of her life when she accepted Christ as her personal Savior while a member of Swope Park Baptist Church. She graduated from Southeast High School at the young age of 17 because at the time there was no 8th grade in the Kansas City Public Schools.
After a year at a local junior college, Joan headed to Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, MO to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree with an emphasis in Home Economics. After becoming a sister in the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, she met a not so tall, dark, and handsome Sigma Tau Gamma member named Dale Henry. Two weeks after graduation they were married on June 9, 1951.
Son, Doug was born February 7, 1953 in Warrensburg. Daughter, Pam was born March 10, 1955 in Lexington, MO. Dale’s jobs with Missouri Public Service and Kansas City Power & Light resulted in moves to Richmond, Trenton, Independence, and Brunswick Missouri before the family finally settled in Kansas City in 1968. During this time, Joan concentrated on raising two kids and working with the Women’s Missionary Union of every church she joined.
In the fall of 1969, Joan became a substitute teacher and taught solely at Ruskin High School. Because she worked practically every day, she knew more students in her kid’s graduating classes than they did. During her subbing career, Joan taught every class at Ruskin except for boys physical education and shop. She could have handled both but it just wasn’t done at that time! Her sub pay allowed for wonderful family vacations to many national parks all over the west.
Joan began volunteering for Research Medical Center in 1980. Her compassion and sense of humor made her an excellent person both on the orthopedic floor and as the first person people saw when they came in for surgery. Many times her caring heart helped a family when the doctor gave them bad news.
The genealogy bug bit Joan at a young age because it was so important to her mother. When Dale retired from KCPL, they began traveling all over the country east of the Mississippi River looking for ancestors. Because of that work, she found ancestors in Jamestown (who got run out of town!), on the Mayflower, fighting in the Revolutionary War, and even some kings and queens of England. One even got hung in the Salem Witch Trials.
Throughout her life, she was active in the Women’s Missionary Union, Colonial Dames 17th Century, Daughters of the American Revolution, Mayflower Descendants, Daughters of 1812, Court of Honor, Daughters of American Colonists, and Daughters of Union Veterans. Dale always thought she was trying join as many genealogical societies as she could. She saw no problem with that!
But her two great loves were the Lord and her family. She taught Sunday School for decades and taught more Bible book studies than most pastors. She was a great cook and sewed most of the family’s clothes for many years. The friends of her children loved to come over and many ended up calling her Mom. She taught her kids to love the Lord, help others, and work hard.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ed and Bernice Baker Mantel, her in-laws Truman and Jewell Jones Henry, her husband Dale Henry, and her son Doug Henry. She is survived by daughter Pam Henry, daughter-in-law Pam Henry, grandson Matt Henry and his wife Laura, and two great grandson Nick and Korbin.
Services were held at the Langsford Funeral Home in Lee’s Summit, MO. Visitation with the family was at 10:00, the funeral began at 11:00, burial followed in the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
If she could tell us two last things it would be: seek the Lord and I love you.
Arrangements by Langsford Funeral Home.