BendPak Announces Passing of Gary Henthorn•
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, Gary Martin Henthorn. Gary was a kind and loving person who brought joy to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed by everyone who had the privilege of being part of his life. We take comfort in knowing that Gary is now at peace.
Gary grew up working here at BendPak. He got his start as a young man on the shop floor and worked his way up through the years to vice president. He worked in the machine shop mostly, but gradually took on more operational duties.
Gary was a tinkerer, and many times would spend his off-hours in the shop working on new designs for pipe benders, lifts, and other mad-professor type contraptions. We were delighted to see him sweating behind a welder, rather than wasting time behind a video game. Not all his endeavors worked out like he expected, but that didn’t dampen his resolve. He always said, “You don’t learn from home runs, you learn from strikeouts.”
At a very young age, he mastered CNC machinery and CNC programming, all self-taught. Always trying to stay ahead of the curve, he encouraged BendPak to enter the robotic age. He spearheaded our use of robotic welding and declared it his own personal achievement.
Gary had a quirky sense of humor which added to his magnetic personality. All in fun, he would prank new trainees to search the shop for the non-existent basement. Wherever they went, someone would send them to another spot. After 30 minutes of looking around, one new hire came up to me and asked where the basement was. I just laughed. Another time, a recruit was sent looking for an aluminum magnet, and another to hunt down the insulated suit he supposedly had to wear to put parts in the 800-degree heat-treat oven, of course, an oven that we didn’t have. All the while Gary’s face was turning burgundy red from laughing so hard.
Although he once described BendPak’s culture as “work, work, and then some more work,” he still knew how to have fun outside the office. He played in youth and adult hockey leagues, loved surfing, and enjoyed boating the lake near his home in Westlake Village, California. He was an enthusiastic golfer and adventurous skier and snowboarder. He loved traveling with his family, and we shared many wonderful times together, whether hitting the slopes in the Swiss Alps, or enjoying a glass of wine under the porticos of Italy. By the time Gary entered adulthood, he, with all family members in tow, had visited each of the seven continents. In 2008, he earned his private pilot’s license.
Like his dad, entrepreneurship ran in his veins, and in 2008, he established a construction company called Henthorn Construction in Malibu, California. Next, he challenged the status-quo by entering the automotive equipment business with the launch of Garage Equipment Supply, Dannmar Equipment Inc., and MaxJax. Following his inventor passion, in 2014 he patented a two-post vehicle lift with opposing lift carriages.
Gary was a devoted father to Annika, Reagan, Carson, and Kennedy Henthorn and loving partner to fiancée Jessica Dabbs. He is also survived by Jessica’s four children; his sister, Susan; many cousins and other relatives. He will be missed by a long list of friends. He was known for his infectious smile, contagious laugh, and positive outlook on life. Even in the face of adversity during his battle with cancer, Gary lived each day like it was a new adventure. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Services were held Feb. 16 at the United Methodist Church in Westlake Village. The burial took place at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks-Griffin Memorial Park, also in Westlake Village.
Like his mother, Gary shared a passion for animal rescue and often made generous charitable donations. In his memory, in lieu of flowers, we’d like to request donations to be made to a rescue organization of your choice, or any other charity that aligns with your passions and values. For those wishing to send condolence cards, they can be mailed to Ginger and Don Henthorn, 1645 Lemonwood Dr., Santa Paula, CA 93060.
Rest in peace, Gary. You’re forever in our hearts.
Ginger & Don Henthorn