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Larry Henninger, M.B.A. ’64 died peacefully in the Skilled Nursing Facility at the Vi in Palo Alto on April 11, at age 83. He was born on Jan. 12, 1933, in Roseburg, Oregon. One of his biggest adventures as a teenager was attending the International Boy Scout Jamboree in France in 1945, an unusual opportunity to see Europe while it was still recovering from WWII. He graduated from Stanford in 1954 with a B.A. in economics. During his Stanford days he was president of Theta Xi fraternity and was a sponsor in the freshman dorm, Encina. It was in this role he met Amber ’71, M.A. ’80, who was a sponsor in the freshman women’s dorm, Roble. They married in 1954 in Menlo Park.
He was in Air Force ROTC and left immediately after graduation to report to Texas. After his initial training, he was sent to Lakenheath/Mildenhall in England where Amber joined him in 1955 after her graduation. They used this time abroad to travel whenever possible, seeing much of Europe before it was a common destination. After coming back to the States in 1956, they returned to Palo Alto and Larry began his career in 1956, in what was then called Personnel, at Litton Industries. His next employer was Philco and he worked in finance there during its transition to Philco/Ford. After that, he was the business person in the team Peter McCuen put together to start Acurex — Larry and 17 engineers. He continued in this role in Barron Data Systems in San Leandro until the 1980s when he went into his own business as a consultant for small businesses. These clients presented very special opportunities for him to use his skills in helping people define the role they and their companies should play in the fast emerging electronics industry.
Larry was in one of the first classes in the part-time night MBA program at Santa Clara University. Though he felt he was not an academic, he enjoyed the program for its mix of students who often were more versed in the application of the material while the professors knew the theory. Convinced of the value of the program, he served on the Business School Advisory Board for several years. He also started at Santa Clara the CEO Forum, a group of small company CEOs who met monthly to share their issues in the role of CEO, an opportunity available only when there is personal trust built within the group. What Larry liked most was helping people find how they might be all that they could be. Whether that was with clients, friends or family — whether in long conversations over dinner, in formal meetings or phone calls in time of difficulties — Larry was there to listen.
In the consulting role Larry had the opportunity to spend four years as liaison with the Chambre du Commerce de Haute Normandie, in Rouen, France, trying to find ways to facilitate relationships between Rouen and Silicon Valley. In the early 1990s, through USAID, he participated in a project to try to share his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship in Russia as they began to transition from Communism. With the lack of understanding for the basic personal attitudes to enable the transition, after 40 years of Communism, his skills were well utilized in companies with less than 200 people. It was a great disappointment to see how the current Russia has been reverting to its old lifestyle. Nevertheless, he has retained lasting friendships with his Russian contacts.
In the community, Larry was a member of Rotary and very active in what was then the Stanford Area Council Boy Scouts. He was on the Executive Committee as well as in leadership roles in the troops to which his sons belonged. He received the Silver Beaver Award from the Council. He also led several council troops to National Jamborees on the East Coast.He was a devoted follower, win or lose, of Stanford football and men’s basketball. He believed Stanford athletes were unique in their focus — focus necessary to try to mesh academic, athletic and personal lives. Involvement with Hoover Institution also was most rewarding, particularly with the National Security Affairs Fellows Program and the annual classes of military and State Department personnel with whom he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interact.
He was very proud of his sons, Dwight and Derek, truly pleased that they had grown, each in their own ways, to be contributing members of society as he had hoped. Larry and Amber had 61 years of shared opportunities and pleasures. In the ’80s and ’90s, they spent considerable time at Incline Village at Tahoe, enjoying the mountains and their friends there. In recent times Larry’s health had made that less possible.