Tahlequah Daily Press

February 13, 2014

Donald “Don” Lee Hensley


STILWELL — Memorial services for Donald “Don” Lee Hensley will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. at Reed-Culver Chapel with Rev. Kermit Mullins officiating.

Don will later rest at the family plot in Spade Cemetery. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver.com.

Honorary pallbearers for Don include Tommy Speake, Dewey Vaughn, Andy Ford, Mike Hargis, Marty Martinez, Troy Jackson, Clay Mahaney, and Kent Helms.

Donald Lee “Don” Hensley was born on Jan. 12, 1943 in Tahlequah, the son of James Harb and Marie (Bark) Hensley. He attended at Lane School in Eldon, and later at Baggley. Don then returned to school and graduated from Okmulgee Tech with his mechanics certification, and later from NSU with his Bachelors in Industrial Arts.

Don was a talented mechanic and an even better instructor. He taught at Indian Capital Votech and retired after many years of faithful service. Don loved his students and helping them to reach their full potential. When he had a little spare time, Don was a musician who loved to play guitar, be it acoustic or bass.

He also enjoyed singing and playing gospel music, and would go to any church that wanted to hear his message in song. He delighted in entertaining and giving back at Senior Citizen Center dances and fundraising benefits.

Don loved people and it showed. There were no strangers in Don’s life, just present and future friends. There was nothing better than a day hunting deer, squirrel or rabbit, unless it was a day spent fishing at his favorite spot. He was delighted to have his children or grandchildren along to tell his jokes to or one of his “special stories,” and he always had a story to tell.

He was a proud of his native heritage and was a skilled craftsman in the making of canes, knives, and snakeskin straps.

He never held himself up above others and refused to judge people, it wasn’t his style. Don was sure happy for a visit from his grandchildren, he absolutely adored them, and the feelings were mutual. He thought that everything they did was wonderful and he couldn’t wait to see them whenever he could.

The Lord called this very loved and talented man home from his earthly labors on Monday, Feb. 10, in Tahlequah. Don was 71 years old. He leaves many people a little richer for his presence on this earth, and he will be missed.

Don is preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Virginia Patsy Hensley in 1980; his beloved son, Jerry Dean “Butch” Witt; five brothers, Ronald (Runt) Hensley, William Lee Hensley, J.C. Hensley, Orville Hensley and Naylor Hensley; and one sister, Lily Bruner.

Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 33 years, Mary Francis Adair -Hensley of the home; and four adored children, James (Peewee) Hensley and wife Judy of Eldon, Donald Lee Jr. (Rocky) Hensley and wife Michelle of Eldon, Leighann Quinton and companion Dee Leatherwoood of Eldon, and Charley Jones Jr. and companion Christy Cooper of Sapulpa. He leaves one brother, George “Chooch” Gritts of Muskogee; and four sisters, Luella Kelly of New Mexico, Louene Fairchild and husband Pooch of Muskogee, Barbara McClain and companion Gene Gatewood of Stilwell, and Iva Jean Hensley and companion Roger Fletcher of Stilwell.

Don’s love of life is his legacy to his grandchildren, Julie Hensley and companion, Homero Martinez of Tahlequah, Brittany “Lulu” Hensley and companion Drew McDaniel of Tahlequah, Angie Witt and Jennifer Witt both of Manford,  Candace Drywater of Tulsa, Billy Joe “B.J.” Sunday III of Welling, Ryan Jones of Muskogee, Baleigh Jones of Oklahoma City, Courtney Hensley of Locust Grove, Rachael Hicks of Tahlequah, Sarah Hicks of Tahlequah, and Audrah Page also of Tahlequah.

His great-grandchildren include Homero (Juanito) Martinez Jr., Joaquin Martinez, Micah Jones, Kailyn Harpharlow, Carena Harpharlow, Adence Archie, Mason Mounce, Tyler West, Nikki West, Kyle West, Courtney West, Addy West, and Keaton Hensley; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends and loved ones.

Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551.