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Five-Term Mayor Tom Henry Dies After Short Battle With Cancer

Mayor Tom Henry left a legacy of pride and commitment to the people of Fort Wayne. He created, developed, and expanded a myriad of initiatives with a primary focus of economic development. Mayor Henry also understood the importance of projects that might not capture public attention, but were just as important to the growth of Fort Wayne as his higher profile projects.

Henry would ambitiously tackle issues like wastewater treatment with the same passion that he would the visionary Riverfront project, looking at these investments as part of the bigger picture for a growing and prosperous community. He frequently talked about issues that the people of Fort Wayne would hardly notice, but replacing a 100-year-old sewer system and the purchase of Aqua Indiana’s infrastructure on the southwest side, were all examples of the way he viewed progress.

Despite the many accomplishments Henry had since first taking office in 2008, Tom Henry seemed prouder of the city and its people than his own individual achievements. His judge of character and ability to select the right people to lead these projects seemed unmatched compared to other government leaders.

Henry made a somber announcement on February 26th, that he had late-stage stomach cancer that spread to other parts of his body. As he made that announcement at City Hall, some of his staff gasped audibly at the news, a reflection of what Henry meant to the people he led throughout his tenure.

The mayor had made it clear that he was battling cancer and would fight until he couldn’t anymore. That promise was well-kept by Henry, who was making public appearances until a few days before the announcement that he was entering hospice care.

Tom Henry had another battle he was fighting, too. Battling the grief from losing his wife, Cindy, from pancreatic cancer, a month before he went public with his own cancer diagnosis. Despite this deep and tragic loss, the mayor still kept up his energy and passion for Fort Wayne and all of its residents.

Tom Henry may be gone, but our community will be reminded of his legacy throughout the city. Every time we walk past Parkview Field, enjoy the parks and trails Fort Wayne offers, or canoe by the Riverfront, we can thank Tom Henry for having the vision and dedication to see these projects through.

Rest in peace, Tom Henry, knowing that the pride you took in our community will be reflected on your memory with great respect.

A Statement from the Henry Family:
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry passed away peacefully Thursday, March 28, 2024, after experiencing a medical emergency related to his cancer. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 27, Mayor Henry was privately transported to a local hospital at which time he and his family consulted at length with medical professionals including his oncologist. After careful consideration of the risks associated with surgical intervention, Mayor Henry opted for comfort measures. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family.
Mayor Henry was a man of the highest character – a true servant leader who devoted his entire adult life to the betterment of Fort Wayne and its residents. He was also the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. We, his family, mourn the loss of Tom with the rest of our community, but we also take great comfort in knowing that he is once again with his beautiful Cindy who passed away from cancer just two months ago.
We thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers, but also ask for privacy as we grieve Tom’s passing and celebrate his extraordinary life and legacy.

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1 comment

Slacker06 March 29, 2024 at 10:55 am

Condolences to Tom Henry’s family and loved ones.

Yet I cannot help but comment on typical power hungry politicians hanging onto their office and sticking taxpayers with their health after they should have retired. Just think of the old fossils hanging on in DC. Are they working for “THE PEOPLE” or for themselves?


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