Joe Aton Henry 

Born into this life June 1, 1927. 

Born into the next life Oct. 21, 2018. 

Joe was born in Santa Rita, New Mexico to Fay Dillard Henry and Ruby Aton and grew up in New Mexico, primarily in Hurley.

During the depression years, he lived with his mother in Albuquerque above the store they owned while his father worked for the railroad in Yuma, Ariz. As the United States pulled out of the Depression, Fay got a job working for Kennecott Copper in Hurley, NM and the family was reunited. 

Joe grew up in Hurley and graduated high school at Hurley High School in 1945. He immediately went down to the enlistment board only to be told to go home and wait, his draft papers were in the mail and it was too much paperwork to let him enlist. He was inducted into the Army in September of ’45, finished basic training and Army Artillery School and shipped to Germany where he served in Nuremburg during the war trials. Joe would be the first to tell you that he carried a clarinet instead of a Carbine and was very proud to have played in the Army band. 

After being delayed by the war and a car accident, he returned to school attending New Mexico Aggies in Las Cruces and transferring to Missouri School of Mines at University of Missouri, Rolla, where he met the love of his life, Amanda Kathryn Smith from Bowling Green, Kentucky on a blind date. Kathy and Joe were married Aug. 8, 1954. And blessed with a daughter, Ellen, a short year later. He was preceded in Homecoming by Kathy in 1985. 

Joe majored in Metallurgical Engineering and moved to Hayden, Ariz. with his young bride in 1954 to begin his career with Kennecott Copper’s Ray Mines division. A transfer in 1960 brought him home to Hurley, New Mexico. The year 1974 saw another move in the family’s life as they returned to Arizona when Joe transferred to Cities Service Group at Pinto Valley. The family made a home in Globe and after the death of his wife in 1985, Joe remarried Nancy Snyder in 1998 who also preceded him in death in 2016. 

Joe was defined as a man, a loving husband, father and grandfather by virtue of being a Master Mason. He was reared in a Masonic family and took the tenants of Masonry very seriously. He was kind to all and treated each person he met in this life with genuine respect and courtesy. He was raised in August 1949 in Hurley Lodge No. 55. 

He was a 62-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, joining Purity #19 in Winkelman, Ariz. on March 1, 1956. The Chapter surrendered their Charter on Nov. 11, 1969 and he became a Member at Large and later affiliated with White Mountain #8 on Oct. 24, 1974. Joe served as Worthy Patron of his Chapter numerous times and joyful served his 14th time with his daughter Ellen as Worthy Patron the last time. He was delighted when he was named Grand Chaplain and felt that he had honored the memory of his great grandfather who was circuit riding Presbyterian minister. 

Joe is survived by his daughter Ellen O’Malia, three grandchildren, Joe, Dave and Rachel O’Malia and two great-grandchildren, Annabella and Christopher O’Malia. He will be greatly missed by his family, his Masonic family and all who knew him. 

Services will be held Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 at the Masonic Lodge in Globe at 1 p.m. Interment services will follow on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 at the Masonic Cemetery in Silver City, NM at 1 p.m. 

Should friends desire, contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson research at the University of Arizona, in lieu of flowers. 

Friends and family are asked to remember Joe for his generosity and his kindness of spirit. He would ask that we not mourn but rather reveal in his passing as he looked forward to seeing those who had gone before. And we can only wonder at the joyous reunion he must be having. 

Assisting the family, Lamont Mortuary.


More In Obituaries