Obituary of Henry R. Wurst | TheUnion.com

Obituary of Henry R. Wurst

On January 26, 2020, our world became a little dimmer without the shining light that was Henry R. Wurst (H.R.). How is it possible to find words to describe the life and vitality of this wonderful man? He was loved by so many and was father and friend to almost everyone he ever met.

H.R. came into this world in Kansas City, Mo on January 6, 1932. He was raised in a loving family of four kids and had an entrepreneur as a father who started a printing business in 1937 that lasted until 2019. He started working with his father Henry and brother John when he was 10 doing odd jobs and setting type, and learned early on the importance of a good work ethic. He also was graced with a generous and kind heart by the loving influence of his dear mother Virginia.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was based in San Antonio. It was there that he met the love of his life, Phyllis, and that love remained even after she passed away in October 2018 shortly before their 64th wedding anniversary.

The accomplishments of H.R. could fill so many pages – college graduate, business owner, mayor, councilman, printing industry leader, salesman extraordinaire, exotic animal trainer and on and on, but the things he was most proud of was the success of his marriage, the unique individuals that he and Phyl had in their four children and the employees he had who were just like his family in the printing company he owned in Apex, NC for nearly 20 years.

After that, his absolute love of flying and singing were his two great joys in life. He started his pilot training at 16 and flew over 6500 hours, for both business and pleasure. One of his favorite things to do was to give people rides just to experience the thrill he got every time he was in the cockpit.

He also started singing at a young age and his sweet tenor voice not only helped him be part of an Air Force chorus that won a national Air Force competition, but he wooed Phyl all through their courtship and marriage with song. Family gatherings were never complete without his son Russell playing the piano and H.R. singing.

Even though H.R. was no longer in printing, he was not a person who could retire. He worked as a salesman at Carmax for 11 years and had many repeat clients. For nearly three years until his death, he worked the guard shack at Hills Flat Lumber in Grass Valley where he became part of another loving family with the employees there. He found such joy in working with them and the customers – everyone was a friend in his eyes.

If you asked anyone who knew H.R., the most likely thing they would say was how kind and genuine he was, always having a smile on his face, always ready to help, guide and listen. His ability to talk to anyone without judgment and to always be interested in people was one of his most outstanding qualities.

This is a man that lived a life full of grace and love and he was truly one in a million. The skies cried in sorrow the day he died, but Heaven rejoiced to have Its beloved son back in the arms of his God, his wife and his family who preceded him.

He joined his wife, Phyllis and his son, Russell, and left on Earth his daughter Jinny Joyner (Wayne), son Charles Anthony (Eva), daughter Valerre Aquitaine (Spencer Hoffman), daughter-in-law Lesa Wurst and five grandchildren. Although our arms are empty of his physical presence, our hearts will always be filled with his love.


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