Transportation 21

Henry Blanchard Wyche, Jr.

December 19, 1942 ~ May 15, 2020 (age 77)


Henry Blanchard Wyche, Jr., age 77, died peacefully on May 15 at Premier Living Lake Waccamaw, from complications with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was born December 19, 1942 in Whiteville and was the son of Georgia Huntington Wyche and Henry B. Wyche, Sr.  He graduated from Hallsboro High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball, and was valedictorian of his class.  He was an Eagle Scout and in summers worked in tobacco and at Pierce and Company store.  He earned a degree in Civil Engineering from N.C. State and a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Transportation from Georgia Tech.  He served as a commissioned officer in the US Navy in the Civil Engineering Corp from 1967 to 1972. In 1969 he married and they had three children whom he was extremely proud of.

 Since childhood, Henry had a great love of trains and enjoyed a twenty-eight-year career as a Civil Engineer with Norfolk Southern Railroad in Atlanta and Roanoke, Virginia.  During his career with Norfolk Southern he held various management positions including Director of Environmental Engineering, Assistant Vice President of Environmental Protection and Safety, and lastly Director of Engineering. He was in charge of the development and management of major railroad projects such as planning, design and construction of large terminals.  He served as industry representative on several U.S. Department of Transportation committees. He was on the committee that established the national “Call Before you Dig “program for utility safety.

After retirement from Norfolk Southern, Henry started an international private consulting engineering firm which allowed him to pursue his love of traveling. Over his lifetime he traveled to Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and many European countries.

Henry was a member of the Lake Waccamaw Presbyterian Church, serving as treasurer.  He had previously served as an elder in four different Presbyterian churches. He also served on the Presidential Advisory Board of Campbell University.

Henry was a student of history, painting, sailing, and all things related to trains.  He loved dogs and spoke often of all the dogs that had been a part of his life.  His sister thought of him as a walking encyclopedia as there was hardly a topic he didn’t know something about. 

He is survived by his wife, Sarah Thomson Wyche, sister, Anne Wyche Fowlkes, son William Wyche (Courtney) of Newport Beach, California, and twin daughters Georgia Wyche of Rennes, France, and Susan Wyche (Heather) of East Lansing, Michigan. He is also survived by two granddaughters, Hartley Wyche, and Elena Wyche, a niece Martha Erickson (Peter), an aunt, Melba Wyche, and numerous first cousins.

His compassionate caregivers during his long journey with Parkinson’s include Lena McNeil, Von Anders, Devoria Anders, Belle Moore, Maggie Graham, Emma Anders, and all the wonderful staff at Premier Living.

In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to Lake Waccamaw Presbyterian Church, the Lake Waccamaw Depot Museum, or the Henry and Georgia Wyche Scholarship Fund at Southeastern Community College.

Due to the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic,  a memorial service will be held at a later date.

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