Arvis Burl Henderson passed away at 10:37 p.m. on November 18, 2019, at Arlington Memorial Hospital, Arlington, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 25, 2019, at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, 3355 West Beauregard Avenue, San Angelo, Texas, with interment to follow at Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McDonald Observatory Memorial Donations, 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, Texas 79734. Services are under the direction of Shaffer Funeral Home/ Sherwood Way.
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For 14-1/2 years Burl fought bravely against cancer. He never complained, never gave up, never stopped laughing. He was still making future plans until his last few days.
Burl was born in Abilene, Texas, on October 24, 1943. His father became a prominent and well-loved pastor who was in demand in many locations, so the family traveled and moved. Burl's primary childhood residence was San Angelo, Texas.
Burl received his Associate of Arts degree from San Angelo State University in 1964 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.
He attended the United States Air Force Officer Training School, served as an officer in the Air Force from 1966 until 1972, and received the United States Air Force Commendation Medal. While in the Air Force, Burl received his Master of Applied Science degree in computer science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
He was a graduate doctoral student and a teaching assistant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from 1972 until 1976. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1976 and from 1976-1980 had a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin.
From 1980 to1981, he was the Director, Research and Applications Laboratory, at ISCO in Lincoln, Nebraska. From 1981 until 1984, Burl served as a research scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. From1984 until 1991, he was the Manager of Computer Services and then Director of Information Systems at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio. From 1991 until 1996 he was Associate Vice President for Information Technology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. From 1996 until 2000 he served as Vice Provost for Computing and Information Technology at the University of Texas in Arlington. He was a Vice President and the Chief Information Officer at Howard University in Washington, D.C., from 2000 until 2002. From 2002 until 2003, Burl was the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Wisconsin. He retired from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2004.
Burl was a devout Christian and an active church member all his life. He was a wonderful friend who had many wonderful friends. He was a good father and a dear husband. He made us all laugh. He was a brilliant man who could answer almost any question. He was a skilled photographer, a master baker, a wonderful chef, an amateur astronomer, and an avid bicyclist. He rode 35-50 miles a day for as long as he could. He loved life and loved living.
He is survived by his wife Sally, his daughter Michelle, Michelle's wife Shannon Casto, Michelle's mother Mary Ann Hibbeler, his stepmother Sue Henderson, his stepsister Lori Batchelor, and his sister-in-law Laura Likavec. We are all everlastingly grateful to the nurses and physicians who cared so much about Burl and helped him live so well for so long. We all loved him, and we all always will.