Leroy Hensley was born Oct. 4, 1920, the son of Rosie Etna Pierce and Iley Fennimore Hensley. He died Feb. 11, 2009. He was the youngest of four boys, a half-brother, Orville Layman, brothers Rufus Paul Hensley and Archie Hensley. His parents and brothers have all preceded him in death, along with one son-in-law, Gerry Jump.
Leroy married Mary Ruth Butler on April 10, 1946. They have seven children, Daniel and wife, Earleen of Maryland, Elizabeth Musgrove and husband, Delbert of Columbia, Mo., Gladys Jump of Willard, Mo., James and wife, Valorie of Clarksburg, Mo., Donald and wife, Lisa of Frutia, Colo., Ruth Claybrooks and husband, Jeffrey of Wichita, Kan., and Thomas of Blue Springs; 16 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and several step-grandchildren.
Leroy spent most of his life on the family farm near Birch Tree. He graduated from Thomasville High School. As a young man he went to Chillicothe for further education, then spent a few years in Columbia.
He was drafted into the Army during World War II and served his country in the Pacific Theater. He spent time in the Philippines and Japan. After his military service he came back to Birch Tree and bought the farm where he raised all of his children.
He had a dairy farm for most of that time, but in later years switched to beef cattle. In 1991, he moved to a small acreage north of Birch Tree were he remained until November of 2007, when he moved to Birch Tree Place due to failing health.
He was involved in his children's school activities, serving as a leader in 4-H, helped with the FFA chapter and served the American Legion in Thomasville as Commander for several terms.
He was a Sunday School director, Training Union director, Bible School instructor and Deacon. He was active at Corinth Baptist Church and later moved his membership to the First Baptist Church of Birch Tree.
Funeral services were held Feb. 13 at First Baptist Church of Birch Tree. Interment followed in the Bethlehem Cemetery at Birch Tree with arrangements under the direction of Yarber Mortuary of Mountain View, Mo.