Henry L. Blim Jr., 93, passed away peacefully on September 28, 2017 in the care of Journey Hospice in Arlington Heights. He was the beloved husband of the late Marylin (nee Wenzel) for over 65 years and devoted father of Dr. Michael (Dr. Don DiSalvo), Susan (Anthony DelMuro), Robert (Cindy), John (Anne), and Tom (Susan Sonneborn), proud and loving grandfather of Jeff, Chris, Erin, Julia Schulz (Stefan), Michael DelMuro, Clare, Kathleen, Charlie, Caleb and Wylie
Born on May 5, 1924, Henry grew up in the Park Ridge, Illinois home of his late parents, Isabel and Henry Blim Sr. He was devoted to his sisters and is preceded in death by the late Isabel Driscoll, Mary and Gertrude Blim, and survived by his beloved little sister, Rose Nugent.
As a boy, he developed a keen interest and passion for all things mechanical. Fascinated by the Travel & Transport building and its futuristic displays at the 1932 Chicago World’s Fair, Henry grew into a hot-rodding teenager, attended Maine Township High School, and eventually graduated from the DePaul Academy in 1942. Enlisting in the Army Air Forces, he was quickly recognized for his mechanical acumen. Air mechanic and engine schools prepped him for duty on Saipan, in the South Pacific, where he became the crew chief of the B-29 Miss Lace (T25), one of the hundreds of very heavy bombers of the 874th Bomb Squadron. Elevated to a tech sergeant, he commanded his ground crew, was decorated with the Bronze Star and held the second longest streak for consecutive bombing missions to Japan at 49. At the end of the war, Henry got a chance to fly on missions to Japan as the Miss Lace was used to deliver lifesaving supplies to U.S. POWs held in camps throughout the country.
Henry met Marylin on a Chicago streetcar one day after high school. Married in 1947, they were together until Marylin’s death in 2012. They raised their family on the corner of Maple Street and Memory Lane in Mount Prospect and spent summers at the family’s Wisconsin retreat in Minocqua.
Henry was never far from a project. The Mount Prospect garage saw countless car rehabs – primarily Volkswagens – and each summer, when he wasn’t taking a short break to waterski or grill brats, potatoes and corn, Henry was constantly expanding and improving his beloved “cabin” up north.
Educated through the GI Bill, Henry graduated from DePaul University in 1952. Scratching about for a career that took him from the Federal Reserve Bank to car dealers to insurance sales, he settled into a rich, varied and rewarding career in education. Starting as an English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, he eventually joined northwest suburban District 214 where he was the inaugural leader of the Young Adult Education Program, the night school at Wheeling High School. From there he would move onto Hersey High School where he eventually became a college counselor, shaping countless lives as an educator, mentor and friend
A celebration of Henry’s life will be on Friday, October 6 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Friedrichs Funeral Home, 320 W. Central Road, Mount Prospect.
Funeral mass at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 7 at St. Emily Parish, 1400 E. Central Road, Mount Prospect will be followed by interment at All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations are made to JourneyCare Foundation, 2050 Claire Ct., Glenview, IL, 60025 (www.JourneyCare.org).