Thomas Jackson “Jack” Hensley went to be with the Lord and many of our family who had gone on before him on October 5, 2021 at the age of 86. He had a quick and peaceful passing. His beloved wife held his hand (like they do when they sleep) until the end, and then a few hours longer. They were surrounded by loving family who had taken great care of him during the last several months of illness.
Jack was born on April 24, 1935, seven of nine children to Winfred Clyde Hensley, Sr. and Nettie Foster Hensley. The family home was 10 White Pine Drive behind Cookout on Tunnel Rd. As a child, he worked hard. He mowed neighborhood yards for seventy-five cents each. He caught rabbits and sold them for fifty cents. There is still a house standing on White Pine Drive that he dug the basement for at forty cents an hour.
Jack enjoyed school, his whole life. One piece of advice he would give all is to “Get as much education as you can!” He attended Haw Creek Elementary, David Millard Junior High, and graduated from Biltmore High School in 1953. There he played basketball, baseball, and football. He and his wife’s doctors’ offices are now located in the old Biltmore High School Building. Jack has many memories of this building. He always liked to tell everyone that his wife’s arthritis doctor is now where the principal’s office was where he would go every chance he could because the principal always had the prettiest secretaries. Carolina Internal Medicine, his primary care doctor, is where his woodworking shop was. His time in this woodworking shop would influence the rest of his life. He became known as “The Pen Man” as after retirement he spent hours at his “Grandaddy’s Workshop” lathe woodworking. He made several furniture pieces for his family; however, turning pens was his favorite.
Upon graduating from high school, he was employed by National Linen Service for forty-three years. He began in 1954 as a mechanic helper, then became a mechanic and advanced to field fleet supervisor traveling to 104 plants coast to coast. He took a six year break from working at National Linen Service to serve in the Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. A favorite memory of his army days is that the first nine flights of his life were all one way! His testimony to his grandkids was, “knowing your salvation was sure, before you jumped”.
Jack met the love of his life, Marjorie “Marj” Kiser, in 1955 and it was love at first sight. They were married on December 30, 1957 at Davis Chapel in Madison county. Together they have three children. Dr. Debra (Howell) Graham of Wilmington, North Carolina. Teresa (Randy) Owens and Brenda (Andre’) Fisher of Candler, North Carolina. His legacy continues in his four grandchildren: Jerred, Elijah, Jacob, and Kara.
Indeed, Jack had a love for the Lord, his family, and life! He was a kind, gentle man that spoke more with his actions than with his words. He loved doing magic tricks with all of his nieces and nephews, or any child for that matter. Always invited a young person to learn how to make a pen in “Grandaddy’s Workshop”. He enjoyed his time with the ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out) at the Liars club in the mornings at Bojangles. His favorite restaurant was The Buttered Biscuit. Here are some ways to remember him: eat the chocolate; have ice cream every day; spend time with your buddies; go to church on Sunday but act toward others, at all times like you’ve just been to church; talk to your neighbors; teach a child your hobby; talk to your family regularly; text your kids in the morning and every night before bed; make your simple life fun and be lighthearted-practice witty humor daily; play jokes; seek to be fair, kind, and humble before your Creator; love others more than they deserve; finally, have a happy smile on your face!
Jack will be honored with a private, graveside service for his children and grandchildren. Rev. Dennis Thurman will officiate. Anyone wishing to honor him may do so through a donation to Pole Creek Baptist Church (online at Polecreek.org Giving or by mail at 96 Snow Hill Church Road, Candler, NC 28715) where he was a dedicated member and former deacon. Tributes can be posted to Penland Family Funeral Home or Facebook Group: Jack Hensley Tribute Group. Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Hensley Family and assisting them with arrangements.
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Pole Creek Baptist Church
96 Snow Hill Church Road, Candler NC 28715