Cover photo for Richard Edson Henthorn's Obituary
Richard Edson Henthorn Profile Photo
1939 Richard Edson Henthorn 2023

Richard Edson Henthorn

May 7, 1939 — December 8, 2023



Richard Edson "Dick" Henthorn was born on May 7, 1939, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and passed away surrounded by family on December 8, 2023 at the age of 84.

While attending Wichita High School East, Dick became very interested in Industrial Arts. He took woodworking and was made the student shop foreman. He was active in the camera club and Luther League at church. After graduation, he chose to attend Kansas State Teachers College (now called Pittsburg State University) at Pittsburg, KS because of the ROTC program.

While in college he was active in many campus activities. He served as Vice President and President of the future teachers group. He attended the Lutheran Heyer Fellowship and worked each year on the float they had in the homecoming parade. He served on the Student Council and as an officer in the Pershing Rifles. He did his student teaching at the campus high school doing one semester in his major Industrial Arts Education and the other in his minor Biology.

Dick completed his college education and was commissioned as a 2nd LT. in the US Army in June of 1961. He spent most of the summer at home and on vacation in Colorado. He rode his three speed bicycle 535 miles from Wichita, KS to Denver, CO which took four days. He hiked Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs, CO) on foot and visited other points of interest between Lamar and Denver, CO. It was at this time he received his orders to report for military service in the US Army. In November of 1961 he reported to Fort Benning, GA where he took Officer Training, and attended Airborne and Ranger schools. He served in the Infantry for one year, being stationed in Korea. Next, he was stationed for a short time at Fort Benning, before attending helicopter flight school at Fort Wolters, TX. After attending Transportation Officers school at Fort Eustis, VA he was stationed as a Company Commander of a Transportation unit at Fort Story, VA. That assignment was followed by six months of Spanish language instruction at the Presidio of Monterey, CA.

Dick used his Spanish language while on duty in the Panama Canal Zone and during a six-month detail to the United States Agency for International Development in Lima, Peru. While in Panama he met his wife, Melva. He attended a second Transportation Officers course at Fort Eustis, VA before being sent to Vietnam. He did one tour in Vietnam working in the S3 of a port operation at Cat Lai near Saigon.

After the tour in Vietnam, he returned to an assignment at Fort Belvoir, VA. He resigned from the Army Transportation Corps at the end of 1969 after eight years. Dick and Melva elected to remain in the Washington, DC metro area where he was employed in various data processing jobs at NASA, Department of Commerce and the Library of Congress.  

He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia; his wife Melva. He leaves numerous cousins and other relatives.

Preceding him in death are his parents Edward Charles "Pete" Henthorn and Ruth Evelin (Carlson) Henthorn and his brother Robert "Bobby" Henthorn.

Dick was a fantastic story teller and shared many recollections of the good ole days at grandma and grandpa Carlson's house. He was an avid reader. In 2023, he read thirty-one books. Twenty-eight books were read using the Prince George's County Memorial Library System's Libby app (ebooks and audiobooks). Music, especially bluegrass, was a huge part of his life and he had an impressive music collection. Other interests included the Bowie Senior Center Computer Club, Little Free Library's, genealogy, woodworking, gardening, stamp/coin collecting, first day covers and photography.

He will be missed by all those lives he touched. May he rest in peace.

A memorial service will be held at Beall Funeral Home in Bowie, Maryland. His family invites friends to gather at Beall Funeral Home on Sunday, January 7, 2024 from 1 - 2 pm, with the memorial service (2 - 3 pm) to immediately follow. The burial with Military Funeral Honors will be held on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 1 pm at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS/FACE MASKS: The family requests that masks be worn at the memorial service (January 7, 2024) and burial (January 23, 2024) and please refrain from handshakes and hugs.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations go to the “Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation” fund (specify to support bluegrass music) or Prince George's County Memorial Library (PGCMLS) Foundation's "Digital Collections Fund" in memory of Richard E. "Dick" Henthorn.


Checks payable to:

Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation
42361 Lucketts Road
Leesburg, VA 20176

To donate through PayPal:  


Online donation - Digital Collections Fund
By Mail - Please send your check to the PGCMLS Foundation, 9601 Capital Lane, Largo, Maryland 20774.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Edson Henthorn, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, January 7, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Family asks that masks be worn and please refrain from handshakes and hugs.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Sunday, January 7, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Family asks that masks be worn and please refrain from handshakes and hugs.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Maryland Veterans Cemetery-Crownsville

1122 Sunrise Beach Rd, Crownsville, MD 21032

Family asks that masks be worn and please refrain from handshakes and hugs.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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