Henry Van Lenten suffered a massive stroke on Memorial Day 1994 and died painlessly a few hours later. He will be remembered of his ready smile, and firm handshake, often accompanied by a good-natured jest. During his 88 years, he wore many hats, as his interests led him from camping and boating to archery, golf, minerals, wildflowers and photography, but the single thread that wound through his personality all the time he was known to us, was his strong, unshakeable Christianity. It was so intertwined with the character of the man we knew, that his faith was the cornerstone of Henry's nature.
His interests, varied as they might be, were uniformly marked by his determined striving for excellence. His bow shooting stance was perfect and on the tee, his golf swing was noted as very good. However, to most readers of the Picking Table, he was known for his UV mineral photographs, numerous examples of which are recognized as, simply, the best yet executed. For a number of years, Henry gave slide presentations of his mineral photos. He authored how-to articles on fluorescent photography in enthusiast's magazines, produced fine images for Dr. Dunn's popular paper on the Sterling Museum, and two of the best selling postcards at the Franklin Mineral Museum are his work.
Much more could be written about Henry Van Lenten: for instance, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and staunch friend. We remember him also for his commitment to Christian ideals and his fascination with beauty, both theological and in the natural world and for the stouthearted character these interests produced in him. We have lost the company of a truly decent human being.