HENSON, SAMUEL LEE, M.D.
Doctor Sam Henson, 81, died peacefully at his home in Hurricane on Saturday, August 4th surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his parents Clifford Henson and Harriet Good Henson, sons Scott Henson, M.D., and Andy Henson, sister Peggy Sweet, and brothers Cliff, Steve, and Larry.
He is survived by his beloved and dedicated wife of nearly 60 years Joan Westfall Henson, son Doug Henson, M.D., grandsons Seth Henson and Conner Henson, granddaughters Brogan Henson and Caitlin Henson, his much loved great-granddaughter Haley and daughter in law Kim Lewis Henson, sisters Catherine and Jackie, and brother Jerry.
Dr. Henson grew up in St. Albans and was a 1954 graduate of Saint Albans High School. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1954-57, seeing service on the mainland and aboard the U.S.S. George Clymer in the Pacific Seventh Fleet in the Phillipines, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea as a corpsman. Following the naval service he briefly served as a postman in St. Albans, then in the organic research laboratories at Union Carbide while attending night school at WV State and Morris Harvey College, receiving his B.S cum laude from MHC in 1962.
He had a wide and varied medical career after receiving his M.D. degree from WVU School of Medicine in 1966. Following internship and emergency room service at the old Charleston Memorial Hospital he entered general practice in Hurricane in 1968. After ten years he left general practice for a pathology residency at the Marshall University School of Medicine, completing this in 1981.
Dr. Henson was eventually triple board certified in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, and Pathology. As a result he held numerous clinical positions over the years being on the staffs of Charleston Memorial, Charleston General, old Staats and Kanawha Valley Hospitals. As a pathologist he was a staff member at St. Mary’s, Cabell-Huntington, and the VA Hospital in Huntington as well as Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant. He was the volunteer physician and Medical Director of West Virginia Health Right in Charleston from 1996 until his death. The complete list of titles and positions is too numerous to list, but in all of his experience geriatrics remained his favorite area of practice. This became apparent when he dedicated the last decades of his life to making house-calls to the elderly and physically disadvantaged.
He was elected to the Putnam County Board of Education in 1974 and served as its Vice-President , taught Sunday School at Forrest Burdette Methodist Church, was active as a coach in boy’s baseball and an avid fisherman and golfer. His good golfing buddies over the years included Sam Cole, Herb Scites, Jack West, Bill Winters, Bill Grass, Bud Beaver, Jerry Jones, Kelly Griffith, son Doug and grandsons Seth and Conner, among many others.
Visitation and remembrance service will be held at Allen Funeral Home in Hurricane from 4-6PM on Sunday August 12th. At his request, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to West Virginia Health Right in Charleston where he spent many years with Pat White, Angie Settle, and the many other wonderful folks who see to the medically indigent there.
Addendum from Doctor Henson : “Thanks to all those friends, relatives, and patients I’ve known over the years...for both your camaraderie and your confidence in me. And I never got to break 70 in golf, 71 was the best I ever did. So long...see you around the universe.”