US Air Force

Henry 'Hank' M. Enterline, Jr.

July 17, 1931 ~ January 12, 2022 (age 90)



Henry (Hank) M. Enterline, Jr. Major, USAF (Ret.), of Norman, passed away on January 12, 2022.   Hank was born July 17, 1931, to Henry Sr. and Ardelle Cone Enterline in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he remained for six months, since his father had previous orders to move.


After that, the family lived in Pittsburgh, PA., Painesville, OH, and Greenwich, CT. Hank was a Greenwich High School graduate and attended The Ohio State University where he earned his BS in Agricultural Engineering. While at OSU he completed the Air Force R.O.T.C. program and went directly to Pilot School, followed by Photo Reconnaissance School. Upon completion, he was assigned to a Photo Radar Squadron at Barksdale AFB, Shreveport, LA conducting research on U-2 photography. After five years, he began flying the K.C.135 aircraft.


While at Seymour Johnson, he married Mary Rose Byrum, an Air Force nurse, who was stationed at Barksdale. The family had one son, Henry M. (Butch) Enterline, III. The family then moved and spent seven years at Loring AFB, Limestone, ME, three miles from the Canadian Border. While at Loring, he was deployed and spent a tour in Bangkok, Thailand, flying refueling missions with the fighter squadrons supporting the Vietnam Conflict. After he returned, a second son was born, David Andrew. 


He and his family then moved to Norman where he was on assignment with the Air Force Institute of Technology. He attended the University of Oklahoma, earning a BS in Sanitary Science, and two Master’s:  Environmental Health and Public Health.


Upon completion, he went to Sheppard AFB. in Texas and converted to a Helicopter Pilot, was again deployed, this time to Udorn, Thailand, three miles from Laos where he flew special Operational Missions both in Laos, Cambodia, and the DMZ. Awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star, he also earned the Distinguished Flying Cross/2 Clusters for recovering two different F-104 pilots after bailing out in Laos on their way back to base.  He finished his military career at Hamilton AFB, CA, where he commanded the Base Civil Engineering Squadron.


When the boys started swimming at ages 6 and 10, he became interested in officiating at swim meets that became a 35 year affiliation with United States Swimming, attending nine Olympic Trials, World Games, World Cups, and Paralympics.  He was a Regional Chairman for 30 years.   He served as referee for the Big 8 Championships, Western Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, and as an NCAA official for Division I Men’s Championships.


While finishing out his work career with Norman Public Schools and his lawn service, he was involved in civic organizations serving on various Boards:  Firehouse Art, Norman Arts Council, and Fred Jones, Jr., Art Museum (treasurer); Cleveland County Historical Museum, and the Norman Library Committee (Future Communities).  He worked with the City of Norman and did consultant work on several projects and was a volunteer with Assistance League of Norman on the Chapter House Committee. He was an active member of the Norman Rotary Club and was chair of Rotary Park.  Hank was also instrumental in leading the design and completion of the beautiful Cleveland County Veteran’s Memorial, located in Reeves Park, Norman.


In 1989, he married UCO Professor, Dr. Anita Sparks Bednar. He was finishing his work career and they had great adventures traveling to Europe and Asia, with a favorite place being Crested Butte, CO, where they played golf and trout fished.  They enjoyed attending cultural and OU sporting events.  In his later years, he still worked in his yard, worked out at the Y, and enjoyed the neighborhood fellow’s coffee group. He and his wife traveled many times on small ship cruises seeing the best of the United States and Canada.  Hank always lived life to the fullest, enjoying and making the most of everyday. 


Survivors include his wife, Anita Bednar Enterline; sons, Henry M. (Butch) Enterline III of Woodland Park, CO, David Enterline and wife Sindy Chaung of Taipei, Taiwan; granddaughters, Rachel Ruff (Chris), and Rhonnie Cough (Sean); and four great-grandchildren.


A celebration of life will be held later in the spring.


Memorial donations may be made to Norman Rotary Club, PO Box 867, Norman, OK 73070, or Assistance League of Norman, 809 Wall Street., Norman, OK 73069.   



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