Westborough officials remember Henry Danis
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Residents and town officials were saddened and shocked after hearing that former Town Manager Henry Danis, Jr. had passed away suddenly Aug. 26 after being stricken ill at his South Yarmouth home. Danis, who was 71, had served as Town Coordinator from 1994 to 2009. He is survived by his wife Judith (Letellier) Danis.
Selectman George Barrette had worked with Danis during his previous terms on the board. After hearing of Danis’s passing, he spoke of the man he called his “mentor and friend.”
“I always considered Henry an acquired taste- he could be loud, abrasive and short. Underneath it all though, he had a heart of gold,” Barrette said. “We could argue about a town issue at the top of our lungs, and then at the end he would ask you about your family, your job, anything – and he really wanted to know. He cared deeply about family and friends.”
“He was a proud man – proud of his family, proud of his roots, and proud of what he had accomplished,” he added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Judy and his children.”
Police Chief Alan Gordon echoed Barrette’s sentiments.
“Henry was a good town administrator. He was always helpful to the department heads especially in the budgeting process. He wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind which made for a few interesting selectmen’s meetings,” he recalled.
Gordon noted that even after retirement, Danis still attended town government meetings on occasion, including as recently as the Aug. 21 Board of Selectmen meeting.
“He was telling us how much he enjoyed his retirement and the ability to spend so much time on the Cape,” Gordon said.
According to his obituary, Danis was a native of Fall River. He attended Westport High School before earning a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State University and then a master’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut. He served with the United States Air Force with the 38th Air Police Squadron during the early 1960s.
Prior to his tenure in Westborough, he was the Town Administrator for the town of Leicester, and had also worked as an advertising sales manager.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children, Kirsten N. Danis and her husband, Robert Kolker, of Brooklyn, NY; Henry L. Danis III and his wife, Jenna, of Gastonia, NC; and Rebecca R. Danis of Atlanta, GA; one sister, Ann Danis of Kingston, RI; and four grandchildren, Audrey and Nathaniel Kolker and Katie and Jamie Danis.
Calling hours will be held at the Rand-Harper-Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough, Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Aug. 30, at 10:30 a.m., in St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough. Danis will be buried, with military honors, in the Veterans Affairs Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations in his memory may be made to the Friends of the Westborough Public Library, 55 West Main St., Westborough.
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