George Henson was born February 27, 1930 in Hemphill, Texas to the proud parents of Lige and Daisy Henson. George was the youngest of nine children.
He attended Rosenwald School in Hemphill, Texas and was a proud member of the Boys Scouts of America. George developed his strong work ethic at the young age of eight by performing various jobs, including helping his father tend the fields planting corn, picking berries, cotton and raising cattle. Although he was the youngest, he was often charged with taking care of his nieces and nephews, a responsibility he learned from his mother who was a midwife. One of his fondest memories as a child was watching his mother cook. One Christmas, the stove stopped working, he watched his mother prepare the entire Christmas dinner in the fireplace.
At the age 16, George’s brother, David Henson sent him $5.00 to buy a bus ticket to come to Tracy, California. While in California he worked as a field hand on a Ranch in Los Banos, growing tomatoes, apricots, plums, picking cotton, and thinning sugar beets. He also worked hauling hay for a meager .50 cents an hour. He saved enough money to buy a 1949 Mercury convertible, long would he know this would be the start and legacy of the “Mercury Boys”.
On August 25, 1956 George married the love of his life, Myrtle Lee Burelson. This loving marriage and unbreakable bond would last more than 64 years. To this union they had five children, Von Greta, Delwyn, Renee, Pamela and Georgina.
In the late 1950’s George and is brother David Henson purchased five acres of land which included 75 hogs and 50 cows. He did not have a lot of money, but he did have great dreams to build a home and a solid future for his family.
His family would often travel with him to various work assignments in Susanville, Paso Robles, Fort Bragg and Gilroy. In 1962 they were able to settle in their beloved custom-built ranch home in Tracy, CA.
George was an entrepreneur and a true renaissance man with many skills. He founded and owned G.Henson & Son Construction Company, he poured cement all through the city of Tracy, Black Hawk , and various surrounding areas, and also worked for Gordon H. Ball Construction. He was so good at his craft that he and his construction crew were recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for laying down three miles of pavement in 6½ hours, record time. This stretch of highway became famously known as the “Tracy Triangle”.
He later became a Longshoreman, and worked for the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (I.L.W.U. Local 10) for 44 years, retiring in 2011. His children were so inspired by his work as a Longshoreman, that they decided to follow in his footsteps and embark upon careers in the I.L.W.U also. George greatly enjoyed working alongside his children and grandchildren there. He was a member of Cement Mason Local 400, and Masons of California.
George and Myrtle were the inspiration behind the opening of the Larch Clover Community Center in Tracy. They wanted the children of Tracy to have a safe, secure place to go that offered services, learning opportunities, and quality of life programs. George enjoyed partaking in activities with the children and the African American Boys Scouts of America which included teaching them fishing and hunting.
George had many hobbies including camping, fishing, shooting guns, frying fish, and showing off his BBQing skills on his custom-made BBQ barrel. He gave credit to his mother-in-law, Laurene Dunlap for teaching him how to make his famous hot water cornbread which everyone loved. He enjoyed raising his hogs, and was an avid animal lover including dogs, particularly fond of the German Shepard breed. He would pass time by playing his guitar, listening to Country and Blues music, and working on his rental properties. However, his greatest love was spending time with his family, traveling with his wife throughout Eastern and Western Caribbean.
George always had a smile on his face. He was a dedicated husband, father and friend. He was intelligent, brave, humble, handsome, and a sharp dresser. He will be greatly missed by so many and all who loved him.
George departed this life on March 13, 2023. He was preceded in death by his wife Myrtle Lee Henson, his parents Lige and Daisy Henson, and his siblings Vergie Mae, Pauline Williams, Dogan Henson, Zola Pearl Williams, Annie Henson, Lula Bell Thompson, Lonzie Robertson, and David Henson.
George Henson leaves to cherish his loving memory his children; Von Greta Henson of Tracy, CA; Delwyn (Connie) Henson of Tracy, CA; Renee (Anthony) Russell of Mt House, CA; Pamela (Darrell) Hare and Georgina (Edward) Capizano all of Tracy, CA; sisters-in-law Brenda Kimble of Cary, NC and Betty Miller of Vallejo, CA; 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 S. Central Ave., Tracy, CA, 95376, with a sharing time for Expressions and Remarks at 2:00 p.m.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of George Mack Henson, please visit our floral store.