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William Harley Henry

(Florida & Christ Church 1959) (22 July 1937 - 31 August 2023)

William Harley Henry, Harley to all, died peacefully in his sleep in Grinnell, IA on August 31, 2023. He was 86 years old. Born in southwestern Pennsylvania in the town of Brownsville, he moved to Atlantic Beach, Florida, in 1949 with his mother Ruth and sister Sue Ann. He attended Kenyon College (‘59), Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship (’62), and Johns Hopkins University where he received his MA and Ph.D. in English. Harley settled in St. Paul with his then wife, Meser, and 3-week-old daughter, Astrid in 1966 to take a teaching job in the English department at Macalester College, where he stayed until his retirement in 1999.

His European adventures in college, academic sabbaticals, and personal travel, earned him a well-stamped passport. A lifelong lover of baseball, music, and education, Harley continued to pursue these passions up until the end of his life. Whether playing in a jazz band, leading a book club, catching a ballgame, or watching a “crimi”, Harley was always happy to share his analysis and insights. As said by a friend after hearing the news of Harley’s passing, “We have lost a brave, brilliant, kind companion— and a pretty good alto sax man, too!”

Harley is survived by his three children, Astrid, Axel (Mikeya) and Else (Alex).