Henry A. VAN HOUTTE 1929-2013

June, 23, 1929 ~ July 4, 2013
Henry (Hank) Van Houtte, 84, much loved and cherished husband, father, grandfather and friend, peacefully passed away Thursday, July 4, 2013, surrounded by his family at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. A lifelong Seattle resident, Henry was born to Elsie and Adolph Van Houtte, emigrants from Belgium.

He graduated from Cleveland High School in 1946 at 16, and four years later graduated from the University of Washington. Henry paid his way through college working nights at Griffin Fuel in Georgetown. He then proudly served his country in the Korean War. Following his military service, Henry returned to Griffin Fuel, eventually becoming the company’s executive vice-president and part owner during the company’s 40+ years of operation. Upon his retirement in 1992 the firm was sold.

In 1953 Henry married the love of his life, Patricia Pearson. During their 60-year marriage they resided in West Seattle where they raised four children in a loving home. Henry loved sports and was active for many years in horse racing, not only as a fan, but as an owner and breeder. His lifelong commitment to following Husky Football, the Mariners and Seattle’s other major sports teams always made for spirited discussion. He was a dear friend to a wonderful group of lifelong Georgetown friends and classmates that remained close throughout the years. The family would like Tony, Carl, Milo, Hardy and Don to know how much he cherished their friendship.

Predeceased by his parents and sister, Marie Simpson, Henry is survived by his wife, Patricia, and four children: Curt (Sharon), Vicki (Dean), Karen (Mark) and Scott, all Seattle area residents. They all were with their father during his recent health challenges. Henry found great joy in his grandchildren: Shawna (Tim), Ryan, Teryn, Matthew, Lauren, Kelsi and his great-granddaughter, Laylina.

Henry will be remembered as a man who cared deeply for his family. He remained a fun, thoughtful and very humble man who was respected by those who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
Henry requested no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made on his behalf to Seattle Children’s Hospital (www.seattlechildrens.org) or Swedish Hospital Foundation (www.swedishfoundation.org), where he received wonderful care throughout the years.

A special thanks to Dr. Douglas Hom for his 20+ years of caring for Henry.

Published in the print edition of the West Seattle Herald July 19, 2013