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Henry Sinclair

January 11, 1930 April 21, 2016
Henry Sinclair
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Obituary for Henry Sinclair

Henry Beall Sinclair, 86, of Peoria passed away on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at John C. Proctor Endowment Home in Peoria IL. A celebration of life service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Peoria, IL, followed with food and refreshments. Cremation rites have been accorded. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Universalist Unitarian Church Trust, W. D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Community Foundation of Central Illinois Audubon Endowment Fund, American Red Cross, Peoria Symphony, Peoria Historical Society or a charity of the donor’s choice. Henry was born in St. Louis, MO. on January 11, 1930, the son of Ida Lowry Sinclair and Salomon S. Sinclair. He graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Chemistry, at the University of California, Berkeley. While working at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis Mo, he met Dorothy Boyd. Described as “love over a test tube,” they married in St. Louis in April 1955. After spending time working, getting married, the couple moved to Boston MA where in 1959, Henry earned a Doctor of Philosophy, in organic chemistry, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two children, daughter, Claudia of Madison, WI and son, Ian of Warrenton, VA that were born in Boston are still living. After graduation from MIT, the family moved to Cincinnati Ohio, while Henry worked at Proctor & Gamble as a chemist. In 1963, he accepted a position at the “Ag Lab” in Peoria with the United States Department of Agriculture. A year later, Dorothy and Henry bought the family house on West Teton Drive. Henry remained employed at the USDA” Ag Lab” until he took early retirement in 1990’s. Soon after moving to Teton Drive, Henry joined the local boy scouts organization. Here began a lifelong commitment to the Boy Scouts of America, W. D. Boyce Council. Over his lifetime, Henry donated days and years of time to the Boy Scouts. Around 1970 and for next fifteen years he served as a scout leader at Kellar School Boy Scout Troup 304. While involved in scouting, Henry attended three US “National Jamborees”, numerous camps at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico along with international scouting events. He attended many canoe outings throughout the local Illinois area. Most of his time in boy scouts was spent with the boys. Initially through troop meetings, camping, hiking, and cooking at Camp Wokanda, and Wood Badge basics classes. At 78 years old Henry was still volunteering to review submission papers from older scouts seeking to rank as “Eagle” Scout. After retiring from the Ag Lab, and through a lifetime scouting friendship that evolved, Henry & Dorothy along with Jack & JoAnne Dennis traveled together. As friends, they visited history and location sites in the US and the world for fifteen years. As a Civil War history buff, he read hundreds of books from biographies, history, and strategy about the US civil war and time period in history. Henry along with wife Dorothy took frequent recreational travels to civil war towns and related locations. After Dorothy died, he continued to travel to civil war sites. Henry was a member of the Universalist Unitarian Church for over 50 years. He served as President of the Board, Trust Officer and in many service positions, As President; he made it possible for the minister to take a leave to join the historic Selma March. He supported decades of projects within the church. Henry was a lifetime member of the Audubon Society. Throughout the years, he frequently traveled to view local & national bird habitats to study bird species. He participated as an Audubon bird consensuses counter, officially tracking and recording birds at Illinois River and marsh locations. Bird watching was on-going topic of conversation, often about the number, types of birds, and the locations that Henry had observed them that day. From 2008 to 2015, through an AARP tax aide program, Henry became an IRS volunteer, supporting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. Over seven years, during tax season, Henry was at METEC and other local locations in Peoria preparing taxes for senior citizens and low income people. Late in life, Henry also enrolled in the Bradley University Continuing Education Program taking consecutive college classes. For five years Henry participated in OLLI education programs and bus trips to various locations throughout the Midwest and mid South. In late 2015, Henry was nominated to submit suggestions for academic study in cinema class. He spent the last year of his life, recommending and studying historic & classic cinematography. Henry was a supporter of the Peoria Red Cross, Peoria Historical Society, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Lakeview Museum, Corn Stock Theater and Peoria Rivermen.

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