August 10, 1934 - January 25, 2019
On the morning of January 25, 2019, the community of College Station and Texas A&M University lost a scholar and a friend. Dr. Henry C. Dethloff, 84, passed away at his home surrounded by his family. Henry was born on August 10, 1934 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Carl and Camelia Dethloff and was raised in Natchitoches, a historic city in north central Louisiana. Although Henry’s last couple of years were in competition with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, he celebrated a victory last week by joining his Heavenly Father.
Dethloff graduated in 1952 from Natchitoches High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1956, his Master of Arts from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1960, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 1964. While an undergraduate at UT, he became a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Henry met his companion and the love of his life, Myrtle Anne Elliott, through a mutual friend in Natchitoches shortly after he returned from serving our country as an officer in the United States Navy from 1956-1958. They married on August 27, 1961, raised two sons, and celebrated life together for over 57 years, calling the Brazos Valley their home for the last 49 of those years.
From 1962-1969, Dethloff was, respectively, an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He joined the TAMU faculty in 1969 and served as the department chairman from 1980 to 1985. Dr. Dethloff, a professor emeritus of History at Texas A&M University, has written numerous books on topics ranging from NASA and the space program, to agriculture, American business and the history of Texas A&M. Former students will tell you that he was a riveting story teller, masterful in his content knowledge, and according to many previous undergraduates—an arduous grader.
Henry’s adolescent years were shaped by Louisiana culture and its geography. He grew up on, and in Cane River Lake in Central Louisiana. Growing up on the water helped him become a robust swimmer, skilled angler (he was a purist with the fly rod), and as stories are told – one of the only citizens to swim the width of the river completely underwater. Henry made friends easily, had a zest for living, exhibited a great sense of joy, and journeyed through life with a twinkle in his eye and a skip in his step. Although persistent in his viewpoint, he would gladly participate in scholarly dialogue and enjoyed learning about the world and its wonderment. He enjoyed traveling with close friends, crawfish boils, and spending time with Myrtle Anne and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Henry is preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother, Carl Richard "Dick" Dethloff formerly of Shreveport, Louisiana. He is survived by his wife Myrtle Anne Dethloff; his sons, Clay Elliott Dethloff and wife Kelly; Carl Henry Dethloff and wife Judy; and eight grandchildren, Brian Dethloff and wife Katie; Stephen Dethloff and wife Sarah; Brittany Dethloff Kyle and husband Kenny; Chris Dethloff and wife Shaye; Cole Dethloff; Riley Dethloff; Abbey and Caroline Dethloff; nine great-grandchildren; and his sister, Cammie D. Girand and husband Charlie of Dallas, Texas.
A celebration of life service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church in Bryan, Texas.
The family extends much appreciation to the many friends, family, and medical professionals that provided support and care during Henry’s illness; including Brazos Valley Hospice and Dr. Stephen Tseng.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 West 26th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803.