James Henley, 73, died April 14, 2021 peacefully in his sleep at his home in Houston Texas. He was a public school teacher and debate coach. A profession he was called to, as one who is called into ministry by God. He dedicated his life, his love, and his self-discipline to teaching because he understood that the meaning of his life lay in service to others. His goal was always to inspire a passion for learning, for knowing what you believe, and an enlightened way of defending your beliefs that would bring people to you, and move them to join you in the fight for a better world.
He always wanted to lift up those around him by valuing who they were and accepting them in their entirety. He made it his concern to understand others’ hopes, desires, gifts, and brokenness, and best of all, would tell you his, and trust you to understand.
Throughout his life he fought for justice, always believing one man can make a difference. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strike out against injustice he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and from a million different centers of energy and daring a current builds that can sweep down the mightiest wall of ignorance, oppression and hate” Robert Kennedy.
Jim was one of seven children and was the one most like his mother. A woman who never forgot the lessons learned as a Belgian student in the Second World War. “Freedom must be fought for, protected, and handed on to the next generation for them to do the same”. Jim was tireless and committed, never letting one of his sisters or brothers even think of giving up on what is right. He was the moral center of his family, not in judgement, but of compassion. He was mightily loved by his family, his students, those he worked with, and everyone who believes in fairness, equality, and a loving God.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James Berk Henley and Laure Mathieu Henley; his brother-in-law, Bobby Joe Dickinson.