Joseph A. “Joe” Henebry III (77) of Peachtree City, Georgia, passed away in his home on December 27, 2019, surrounded by family. He is survived by his loving wife of over 44 years, Diane Koltes Henebry; sons Brian Henebry of Boise, Idaho (wife Mandy), Bobby Henebry of Decatur, Georgia, and Andrew Henebry of Virginia Beach (wife Miriam). Joe was the eldest of six children.
Joe was born in Chicago, Illinois, and spent the first three years of life in Plainfield and Springfield, Illinois, with his mother and grandparents while his father served in the South Pacific during WWII. He grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, where his father, Joe, and Uncle John started Skymotive, Inc. at nearby Orchard Field (renamed O’Hare Field in 1949). He attended Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois, Marquette University, and Bellarmine College.
Joe was drafted to the Army in 1964, assigned to aircraft mechanic’s school, “and earned an all-expense paid 28-day cruise…” (Joe’s humor) to Qui Nhon, South Vietnam in August of 1965. During his 13-month tour, he helped maintain a fleet of 32 DeHaviland Caribou Transport aircraft that were used by the Army to support and replenish dozens of Special Forces & 1st Cav bases throughout the Central Highlands. They also recovered U.S. aircraft shot down in remote locations.
By the end of his tour, Joe had been promoted three times, lost 55 lbs. and weighed 110 pounds. When his papers finally came through for flight school, he chose not to accept the offer and return to Vietnam. Instead, in October of 1966 he was assigned to the 705th Bn of the 5th Infantry Division at Ft. Carson, Colorado, where he completed his military commitment and received an Honorable Discharge.
He next enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in January of 1968 to pursue FAA Certification as an Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic. In October, Delta Air Lines recruited Joe as a mechanic, and he moved to Atlanta.
During his career at Delta, Joe held a variety of different assignments with increasing responsibilities: L-1011 Training Instructor, B-757 and 767 Training Supervisor, Technical Analyst, Manager Technical Operations Training, and Staff Manager-Aircraft Maintenance-Hanger.
In 1992 Joe was promoted to the first of four different Director positions in the Delta Tech Ops Division. He served as Director-Aircraft, Engine & Component Maintenance; Director of Compliance & Quality Assurance; Director of Maintenance Operations; and Director of Aircraft Maintenance-Hangar. He retired from Delta in October of 2000 after a 32-year career.
His wife describes Joe as a man of integrity, wit, and always ready to help someone advance in career and life. He never complained and had an uncanny ability to get to the heart of a problem and solve it. Some favorite quotes Joe lived by:
- “If your people have given you 100% of what they are capable of, what more can you ask of them?” Lloyd Joiner-L1011 Manager.
- “When you have to rely on your authority instead of leadership to manage people, you have lost the battle!” Joe Henebry-Delta Director.
- “How long does it take to build a friendship or relationship…a week, a month, or a year? How long does it take to destroy that friendship or relationship? The answer is about one second when your mouth gets ahead of your brain!” Joe Henebry-Delta Director
- “Cultivate mutual respect with others, rather than animosity and anger!” Joe Henebry-Delta Director
- “Surround yourself with the best people, even those better than you, and let them lift you to the top!” Major General John P. Henebry-USAF Ret.
- “There is no limit to what you can achieve in life if you do not care who receives the credit!” Robert W. Woodruff-Chairman & CEO, Coca Cola Company.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 AM at Holy Trinity Catholic Church (101 Walt Banks Road, Peachtree City, Georgia) on January 25, 2020. After the service, there will be a gathering at Flat Creek Country Club (100 Flat Creek Road, Peachtree City, Georgia).
Contributions can be made in memoriam of Joseph A. “Joe” Henebry, III, to the Gary Sinise Foundation for Veterans, www.garysinisefoundation.org, or to the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation, www.tunnel2towers.org.