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Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry has died

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry
City of Fort Wayne
Photo provided
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry has died.

In a statement released Thursday night, the Henry family said he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.

His death comes a month after he announced a diagnosis of late-stage stomach cancer.

Earlier Thursday, his family said Henry suffered a medical emergency on Wednesday related to his cancer treatment and was taken to the hospital where he entered hospice care.

Both his family and his party are remembering him as a lifelong community servant.

In a statement, his family said:

"Mayor Henry was a man of the highest character – a true servant leader who devoted his entire adult life to the betterment of Fort Wayne and its residents. He was also the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. We, his family, mourn the loss of Tom with the rest of our community, but we also take great comfort in knowing that he is once again with his beautiful Cindy who passed away from cancer just two months ago.

"We thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers, but also ask for privacy as we grieve Tom’s passing and celebrate his extraordinary life and legacy."

The Allen County Democratic Party said in a statement, “From his time on City Council to today, Mayor Henry has fought to make our city and our county a better place for everyone.”

Henry served more than 40 years in the Fort Wayne City government, including 20 years representing the third district on the Fort Wayne City Council and more than 16 years as mayor.

During his tenure as mayor, Henry oversaw various economic development projects, including Electric Works, the Riverfront development and the construction of Parkview Field among others. He helped expand the Fort Wayne Police Department to its largest capacity ever, and he won more mayoral elections than anyone in Fort Wayne’s history.

Henry, a Democrat, was three months into his historic fifth term at the city's helm, having defeated long-time Councilman Tom Didier to hold onto his seat.

In January, his wife of nearly 50 years, Cindy, passed away from pancreatic cancer. The mayor announced his own diagnosis in late February.

Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer will continue as acting mayor of Fort Wayne, as he has since Henry entered hospice care, until the Allen County Democrats caucus in someone to finish out the term.
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Tony Sandleben
Rebecca Green