1925 - 2017
Henry was born in Oak Park, IL, on Aug 14, 1925 the son of Marie Bussian Sharp and Henry Cordes Sharp. He attended University City High School in St. Louis, MO, and after graduating joined the Army Air Corps. He served two years as a navigator, flying in the B-29 Superfortress, and was discharged as a Lieutenant at the end of WWII. He attended MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where he studied engineering, graduating in 1950. He found the love of his life, Harriet Woods of St. Louis, while on a ski trip in Aspen, CO, and they married in November 1953.
Better known as “Hank,” he and Harriet moved to South Pasadena, CA where they raised their four children, Kathy, Kris, Andy, and Eddie. Those were happy years. They built a lakefront vacation home on Lake Arrowhead, CA, where they loved sailing and water skiing.
Hank was a Vice President of Air Conditioning Company (ACCO) until he retired from corporate life in 1972 to fulfill an ambition to be a teacher. He became a faculty member of Webb School in Claremont CA, teaching physics and math, and serving as assistant coach of the football team. He was a gifted teacher and devoted to his students.
In 1981 he and Harriet moved to Santa Barbara where he embarked on a third career as a financial planner. He founded his own company, First Pacific Financial Services, from which he retired in 2005. In 1982 he and Harriet built their beautiful house overlooking the ocean, and as avid environmentalists, they designed it as a solar house; it has no furnace and uses solar collectors for providing hot water, and photo voltaic panels for providing electricity. Also, on a ½ acre of the property, they grow avocados organically. Hank served on the California Certified Organic Farmers board for five years.
Hank and Harriet loved to travel. They traveled throughout the US and across the globe, visiting their many friends, and exploring many interesting places and countries.
Hank was a sports enthusiast and a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs. He was thrilled that he lived long enough to see them win the 2016 World Series (after 108 years!). He enjoyed many sports, including skiing, sailing, squash, and most of all, lacrosse. He established the Cleveland Lacrosse Club in 1951 and was a leader in founding the first lacrosse league in California. He served as captain of the San Marino Lacrosse Club, and was an active player until the age of 47. Another lifelong avocation was contract bridge. He played duplicate bridge at Birnam Wood Golf Club for 30 years.
Hank is survived by his loving wife of 64 years and his four cherished children. He is extremely proud of them and their spouses. His six grandchildren are his joy. Surviving him are his sister Dorothy Herzog (John), daughter Katherine Cowell (Stanley), son Henry Sharp (Julie Mullen), son Andrew Sharp and son Edward Sharp (Kelly Burke) and grandchildren, Robert Cowell, Ann Cowell, Rosalie Sharp, Andrew Sharp, Benjamin Sharp and Jackson Sharp.
Those who knew Hank respected him as a man of warmth, integrity and principal, and delighted in his dry sense of humor! In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the charity of your choice.