Henry Bernard “Hank” Waugh
Henry Bernard “Hank” Waugh, 97, loving and much-beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died in Grand Junction, Colo., on September 15, 2023. He was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on Aug. 9, 1926, the fourth and youngest child of William Harris Howell Waugh and Pearl Edwina (Miller) Waugh. He grew up, first in town, then at the Gold Medal Orchards in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County. At age 16, he enrolled at N.C. State University, later enlisting in the Navy, with training at Georgia Tech in the V-12 program, then back for a Bachelor’s Degree in horticulture from N.C. State in 1948. He soon was working for his father on the orchard. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Betty Jean (Linney) Waugh, also of Wilkes County, a school teacher whom he’d begun dating three years earlier. To the end he attributed his good fortune and longevity to this wonderful marriage.
A watershed in Hank’s life was his 1955 farewell to the orchard, and striking out 2,600 miles west to become a soils scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in Sprague River, Ore. His growing family moved over time from Oregon to Washington, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico. As of retirement from the BIA, he had performed or supervised soils surveys for the Klamath, Colville, Ute Mountain, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni Native American tribes, among others – some of which served as key evidence in water rights cases. He continued to work for several years after retirement as a consultant for the BIA and U.S. Justice Department as a land use and water rights expert.
Hank was steadfastly devoted to the lives of his four children, instilling in them a love of learning, of music and especially of the Great Outdoors, taking them hiking, climbing and backpacking long before it was trendy. (Dad’s lifetime of outdoor adventures peaked when, at 62, he and Richard summited Denali.) In later years, he never ceased expressing his pride in his family, often with a tear in his eye. After retirement, he and Betty moved to Peralta N.M., where he acquired horses and became active in the Backcountry Horsemen of N.M. He later spent several years single-handedly dedicated to caring for Betty, as she suffered from Alzheimer’s. Since her death in 2012, he resided in Grand Junction, close to family members.
Hank is predeceased by his wife, Betty Linney Waugh (PhD, history), and by his three siblings William H.H. Waugh Jr., Clyde M. Waugh and Edwina (Waugh) Day. He is survived by his children H.B. (“Bernie”) Waugh Jr. and wife, Mary, (Hanover N.H.), Ann Waugh Page and husband, Ernie, (Salt Lake. City Utah), William Joseph “Jody” Waugh and wife, Marsha, (Grand Junction Colo.) and Richard Daniel Waugh and wife, Mary (Cleveland Ohio). Other survivors are grandchildren Elisabeth Page (John) Pinsonneault, Benjamin Page, Angela Waugh (Garrett) Forsgren, Caleb (Linda Yan) Waugh, and Lily Waugh, and great-grandchildren Jimmy and Daniel Pinsonneault, and Tyra, Ana and Brynn Forsgren.
In lieu of flowers, we think Dad would appreciate a donation to the Mountain Studies Institute.