Henry E. Couchman
December 10, 1931 – January 8, 2019
Henry was born in northeastern Arkansas during The Great Depression. His father was a Methodist minister, and his mother was the daughter of a Methodist minister. His brother, Dwayne, arrived two years after Henry, and they remained close until Dwayne’s death in 2017.
Henry’s father was re-assigned to a different church in a different town every few years, and the family moved frequently. Henry graduated from high school in Osceola, Arkansas and enrolled in Hendrix College, a small Methodist college in Conway, Arkansas. There he met the love of his life, Jo Elizabeth Littell. Henry and Jo married in January 1954. They loved and cherished each other for the next 65 years.
In October 1953, Henry was drafted into the Army. The following year, he deployed to Korea, where he served as a radio operator in a medical battalion for 16 months. Henry was proud to be a Korea veteran and often reminisced about his service.
After returning to the states in 1955, Henry taught school and then took a job as a salesman with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He and Jo moved to San Antonio, Texas, where the first of their two children, Henry Jr., was born. Not long afterwards, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Jo gave birth to their daughter, Lynne.
Henry went to work as a salesman for Eaton Laboratories (later Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals), a pharmaceutical company. Friendly and outgoing, Henry did well in sales. In 1965, he was promoted to district manager, and the family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, where Jo became an elementary school teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District. Henry excelled as a district manager. He was a likable, but demanding boss, pushing those under his supervision to excel. Under Henry’s leadership, his district won many sales awards.
In Overland Park, Henry and Jo joined Indian Heights United Methodist Church, which they attended regularly.
In 1988, Henry was appointed regional sales manager for Procter & Gamble (which had acquired Norwich Eaton)—a job he had long aspired to. He and Jo moved to the Dallas, Texas area, where Jo continued to teach. In Dallas, Henry adopted a Lhasa Apso, which he named “Puff.” The two of them were inseparable. Henry retired in 1991, and Jo followed him into retirement a few years later.
In 1998, Henry and Jo moved to Olathe, Kansas to be near their grandson, Alex. They resumed attending Indian Heights church.
Henry never lost touch with his roots. He kept in contact with his high school classmates in Osceola and attended their high school reunions.
In 2014, Henry and Jo moved to Rose Estates, an assisted living facility in Overland Park. There, Henry was popular with other residents and with staff, with whom he joked frequently. Even though his mobility was impaired, he was the first to reach out and help other residents who needed assistance.
Henry was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He will be missed by his friends and above all by his family, including his wife, Jo E. Couchman, of the home; his son, Henry E. Couchman Jr., Kansas City, Kansas; his daughter, Carol Lynne Couchman, Phoenix, Arizona; and his grandson, Alexander J. Couchman, Overland Park, Kansas.
A visitation will be held from 1-2 PM, service 2PM, on Tuesday, January 15, at Indian Heights United Methodist Church, 10211 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207. Entombment will follow at Johnson County Memorial Gardens in the indoor mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions may be made to Camp Encourage, 4025 Central, Kansas City, Missouri 64111, www.campencourage.org