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Published: Saturday, 2/15/2003

CEO took great pride in packing company

Ronald J. Henry, 78, who was chief executive officer of the meatpacking firm founded by his father, died of cancer yesterday in his Perrysburg Township home.

Mr. Henry took charge at Henry Packing Co. after the death of his father, Elmer, in 1970. The business bought cattle from farmers in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana and sold beef to grocery stores, especially neighborhood markets, in Wood and Lucas counties.

“He followed in his father's footsteps,” said his son, Mark, who was president of the firm. “He was a good boss to work for. He was fair with everybody.”

Mr. Henry took great pride in the quality of the company's meat, his son said.

The firm lost much of its customer base as supermarket chains replaced corner markets. Plus, mammoth processors sold meat more cheaply than what it cost small firms to buy and slaughter cattle and process the beef, his son said. Mr. Henry closed the business in 1997.

He grew up in the Lime City area of the township and was a graduate of Perrysburg High School. He was a director of the former Citizens Banking Co. of Perrysburg.

He was a member of Phoenix Lodge, F&AM, the Zenobia Shrine, and the Royal Order of Jesters. He and his wife, B. June Henry, took a major trip every few years - to Europe, the South Seas, Australia, and New Zealand.

Surviving are his wife, B. June Henry, whom he married Dec. 1, 1945; son, Mark; daughter, Patricia Lesniewski; sister, Evelyn Bowen, and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the Witzler-Shank Mortuary, Perrysburg, where the body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Phoenix Lodge Masonic services at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the mortuary.

The family requests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township or First United Methodist Church in Perrysburg, of which he was a lifelong member.

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