Samuel R. McHenry, Jr. – LBG #79

Samuel R. McHenry, Jr., 88, Gettysburg, passed away after losing a protracted fight with esophageal cancer on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at the Gettysburg Hospital.

He was born July 25, 1922 in Pottstown, the son of the late Samuel R. and Ruth Rudy McHenry. His wife of 61 years, Barbara Cox McHenry of York, died in 2009.

Samuel is survived by three children, Teri J. McHenry of Troy, Pa., Daniel J. McHenry and his wife, Deborah Wagner of Cashtown, who live in New Port Richey, Fla., and James R. McHenry of Gettysburg; and one grandson, Joshua J. McHenry and his wife, Megan of Maine. He was predeceased by a son, Samuel R. McHenry, III, and a brother, James R. McHenry. 

Mr. McHenry was a member of the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. He was raised in Norristown, and graduated from Norristown High School in 1940. In the middle of college he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War II until 1946. He returned to Grove City College  and earned a B.A. in 1947. He received a M.A. and M.S. at the University of Pennsylvania and also worked on his doctorate there and at Penn State University. He also attended the University of Wisconsin.

Sam taught history in Phoenixville Senior High School and coached football, basketball and track. He also taught at York High school.  For 28 years he served as an administrator in various Pennsylvania schools such as principal of Dover High School, Chartiers Valley High School in Pittsburgh, and as a secondary assistant superintendent in the Harrisburg School District. Samuel finished his career in 1982, retiring as superintendent of the Fairfield School District. In addition, he taught part-time for Penn State University, Duquesne University and the Consortium of Colleges in Harrisburg.

In 1986 he was tested and licensed as Battlefield Guide with badge # 79.  He served as a guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park until 1992. His retirement years also marked a return to playing in many local bands, including the Harrisburg Zembo Shrine Band, York Tall Cedars Band, Harrisburg Consistory Orchestra and the Apple Core Band of Biglerville. Samuel also played the bagpipes with the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg for 25 years. While in high school, he sang in the State Champion Male Quartet and also sang in Major Bowes Amateur Hour on the radio. He also sang in many church choirs and choral groups. Samuel had a lifelong love of reading and enjoyed extensive travel throughout the United States and Europe with Barbara.

Samuel was a member of the Blue Lodge of Gettysburg, Commander of the Commandry of Gettysburg, and High Priest of the Chapter. He was also a member of the Council in Chambersburg, Tall Cedars of York, Shrine in York, South Central Consistory in Hanover, Consistory and Shrine in Harrisburg, Eastern Star in Gettysburg, Amaranth in Harrisburg, and the Red Cross of Constantine stationed in York.

For 14 years, he was secretary/treasurer of Pennsylvania Association of Secondary School Principals, member of Phi Delta Kappa, superintendents of school principals association, served on many school evaluation committees, past president of the Fairfield Lions Club. He attended Gettysburg Lions Club, Legion of Honor in Harrisburg, American Legion Post 202 Gettysburg, taught Sunday school at the Gateway Presbyterian Church, and was active in various Boy Scout troops.

Funeral services will be held Monday, February 21, from Gettysburg Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Louis Nyiri and the Rev. David Wright officiating. Interment will be private in Riverside Cemetery, Norristown. There will be a viewing at the church on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Martha Lloyd Community Services, 66 Lloyd St., Troy, PA 16947; or another philanthropic organization. Online obituary and condolences available at


In consideration of the services of The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides®, their officers,  agents, and members, and/or all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively  referred to as “ALBG”) I agree as follows: 

Although ALBG has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and experienced,  skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, ALBG has informed me this activity is not  without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique  character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique  character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or  in extreme cases, permanent injury, trauma and/ or death. ALBG does not want to frighten me or reduce my  enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to be aware of and to  expect and to be informed of the inherent risks as reasonably as possible. Most programs will be conducted on  the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park (“GNMP”). The following describes some, but not all, of  those risks.

  • Tripping, slipping and/or falling on uneven, slippery and/or brush and/or leaf-covered terrain
  • Exposure to severe weather, including but not limited to: Excessive cold, heat and/or humidity, sun,  heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening and/or high winds 
  • Exposure to stinging insects, poison ivy and/or poison oak 
  • Traffic on GNMP and public roadways adjacent and through GNMP, which may be heavy at times and  may include, but is not limited to: automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, horses, horse-drawn  vehicles, Segways and bicycles 

I am aware that outdoors programs entail risks of injury, trauma and/or death to any participant. I  understand the description of these inherent risks is as complete as is reasonably possible, and that other unknown  or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury, trauma and/or death. I agree to assume and accept full  responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and those inherent risks not specifically identified but may  also occur. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary; no one is forcing me to participate and I elect to  participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. 

I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than  other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant. I acknowledge that the staff of ALBG [and the  Staff of the Gettysburg National Military Park who are publicly available to all Visitors for information at no  charge] has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the  inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity. 

I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full  responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or  loss of personal property [including but not limited to automobiles, other vehicles, pets, etc.] and expenses as a  result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically  identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity. 

I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and  acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal  representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.

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