Everyone who knew Henry Pick loved him for his wit, kindness, loyalty and generosity. Henry passed away from natural causes at home in Santa Fe on July 25th at the age of 89. He played tennis and golf, fished in the Pecos, and dispensed directions and advice to all until the very end. His family, White Swan Laundry, Rotary International, New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) and starting the Valdez Industrial Park were the pride and joys of his life.
Henry was born in Santa Fe on September 16, 1930 to Henry and Elsa Pick, who preceded him in death.
While attending college at NMMI, Henry met his forever partner, Peggy Sue Whitehead. They were married September 5, 1952. Henry is survived by his wife Peggy; children Mike Pick of Albuquerque and Ellen Clauss (David) of Albuquerque; grandchildren Audrey Graham (Steve), Ashten Mizell (Matt), Kristen Clauss and Kevin Clauss (Gwen); seven great grandchildren; brother Sam Pick (Diane); sister-in-law Nell Pick, and many beloved cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
Henry was a life-long resident of Santa Fe. He often reminisced about how he rode his horse into the La Fonda hotel when he was young. He attended public schools in Santa Fe through the 10th grade. He finished high school and attended junior college at NMMI, where he played football and basketball. He obtained his B.S. in Business from the NMMI senior college in 1952. Henry was one of the few cadets to graduate from the high school, junior college and senior college. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army; after two years of active duty he returned to Santa Fe to work in the family laundry business while serving in the National Guard for three years with a final rank of captain. Henry was proud of his military service and assured his family he would have been a general if he had made the military a career.
Henry and Sam purchased White Swan Laundry and Dry Cleaners in 1965 and grew the business into a uniform and linen supply rental company serving hotels and restaurants in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and other locations in northern New Mexico, as well as St Vincent's hospital and many other local businesses. The Pick brothers provided opportunities to those less fortunate through mechanisms like the prison work release program. Every employee was like family; when Henry sold the business to a national firm in 1988, he helped all 51 of his employees find other jobs. The business sponsored a little league baseball team for over 40 years. The White Swan building remains a local Santa Fe landmark on Cerrillos Road to this day.
Henry believed Rotary International was the finest civic organization in the world. He joined Rotary in 1972 and remained active for the rest of his life. Everything he thought, said or did was governed by the Rotary Four Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendship? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Henry was president of the Santa Fe Rotary, District Governor of New Mexico and West Texas, and co-founded Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). Henry represented nine different Rotary Presidents at International Conventions and was a highly regarded and humorous speaker. He was recognized as a Paul Harris fellow.
Henry was inducted into the NMMI Hall of Fame in 1998 in recognition of his life of service. Santa Fe recognized Henry's lifetime of contribution to the community with the Living Treasure award in 2015.
Visitation will be from 1-5 pm on Sunday August 2 at the Berardinelli Funeral Home. A private burial will take place on Monday August 3 at Santa Fe National Cemetery. These services will be live streamed, for details please see the link on Berardinelli’s tribute page. Bob White, Jack Feely, Rudy Archuleta, Russ Osterman, Kurt Sommer, Sonny Brown (honorary) and David Clauss will serve as pallbearers. Henry's unique style of telling jokes, boogie-woogie piano playing and handkerchief dancing will be enjoyed by all in heaven. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to the Santa Fe Rotary Foundation, Camp RYLA, PO Box 2465, Santa Fe, NM 87504.
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