Barbara Henley, aged 89, passed away on Saturday, February 16th. She leaves behind a legacy of service to her profession; a lifetime of work for the under-served and underprivileged in her community, and warmth and generosity towards family and friends. In 1953 she married Ernest Henley, who was her rock and life partner for over 60 years. She is survived by two sons, four grandchildren and a growing number of beloved great grandchildren
Born and raised in New York City, she received a Masters Degree in Social Work from Cornell University in 1955. Barbara worked as an Assistant Project Director for the Study of Psychological Needs of the Elderly at New York Hospital from 1951-1958 and became a Field Coordinator for Social Work Internationally while in Rio de Janeiro from 1964 to 1966. After moving to Houston in 1966, she became the Director of Social Work at Ben Taub Hospital where she worked for 25 years. While there, she developed numerous programs to benefit a wide range of patients. She was also an active member of the Ethics Committee.
Barbara’s community activities and charitable work include various board positions- specifically with Depelchin Children’s Center and Houston Achievement Place where she served, respectively, as Vice President and President, and Childbuilders which served the needs of mentally ill children. She served her profession as Chair of the Certification Board in the Texas Department of Human Services, President of NASW in Texas and National President of the Society of Hospital Social Work Directors. Barbara was also appointed instructor in the Department of Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. In the last ten years she worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and special assistant to the dean. Until 2018 she was an active volunteer with Healthcare for the Homeless. She has published several writings to further her profession that include the book “The Elderly Ambulatory Patient”.
Barbara had a tremendous gusto for life. Her passion for the arts was evident in her love of painting, symphony, theater, cinema, and avid reading. She will forever be remembered with respect and adoration for her accomplishments and for being the loving and beautiful human being that she was.Barbara was a member of the Temple Emanuel Synagogue since 1967.
Donations in her memory can be made to the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.