Waynedale Political Commentaries

Farewell To A Visionary ~ Voice Of The Township

Wayne Township, Waynedale and all of the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County lost a great leader and friend when Mayor Tom Henry passed away, unexpectedly, on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Born in Fort Wayne in 1951 to community activists Marganelle and Jerome Henry, Tom was the second of seventeen children, all of whom, in one way or another, carried forward the tradition of public service learned at their parents’ knees. Hailed as a “true servant leader,” Mayor Henry led Fort Wayne with compassion and concern for all of its citizens as he brought growth, jobs, and improvements for everyone’s benefit.

Mayor Tom Henry with Wayne Township Trustee Austin Knox at the construction site of the Riverfront apartments near Promenade Park.

As a talented leader, Mayor Henry believed in the importance of communication. He prided himself in being accessible to his constituents. He kept the citizens informed, and often entertained, with ground-breaking communication methods like his mayoral podcasts and social media posts. Early in his first term as mayor he oversaw the establishment of Indiana’s first 311 Call Center which gave citizens another way to connect with city government and solve some of the nitty-gritty, daily problems of urban living.

At the time of his death, Tom Henry had just begun serving a historic fifth term as the mayor of Fort Wayne. Over that long tenure he oversaw the development of an award-winning downtown, bristling with new construction projects like apartment buildings, parks and cultural centers, bridges, cutting-edge water system improvements, and the transformation of the banks of our three rivers downtown. Mayor Henry’s record of urban renewal will be experienced and enjoyed for many years to come.

Over the past several weeks many wonderful thoughts and memories have been shared about Mayor Henry and his life-long service to the City of Fort Wayne. Along with his recently departed wife, Cindy, Tom Henry will not soon be forgotten.

The staff and board of the Wayne Township Trustee Office express our deep appreciation for the service of Thomas C. Henry, and we offer our condolences to his family, friends and constituents.

Thank you, Mayor, for all you did to make Fort Wayne the great city that it is today.

Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox
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Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox

Trustee Austin Knox is a Fort Wayne native who, on January 10, 2020, was unanimously elected trustee at a caucus of Democratic precinct committee leaders of Wayne Township. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer