Richmond film­maker P.S. Henry dies

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - REMEBERING - BY MARKUS SCH­MIDT mschmidt@times­dis­ (804) 649-6537 Twit­ter: @MSch­midtRTD

With his writ­ing for the an­i­mated sit­com “Fam­ily Guy,” Pa­trick Sul­li­van Henry made mil­lions laugh.

But few were aware that the suc­cess­ful film­maker and video editor with the witty pen and in­fec­tious laugh knew for much of his life that he was liv­ing on bor­rowed time.

Plagued by nu­mer­ous health ail­ments since child­hood, Mr. Henry died in his home­town of Richmond Mon­day af­ter­noon. He was 45.

“Pa­trick was al­ways avail­able, al­ways there to give his opin­ion. He was thought­ful and he was a great friend to every­one. As a film­maker, I con­sider him to be of the high­est cal­iber,” said his brother Mike Henry, 51, one of his clos­est col­lab­o­ra­tors over the years.

Mr. Henry grad­u­ated from Col­le­giate School and at­tended James Madi­son Univer­sity for two years be­fore trans­fer­ring to the Rhode Is­land School of De­sign, where he earned a bach­e­lor’s of fine arts in film, video and an­i­ma­tion.

“Pa­trick had a full schol­ar­ship,” said his mother, Bar­bara Sul­li­van Henry. “He was in­ter­ested in film­mak­ing from the get-go.”

One of Mr. Henry’s first post-grad­u­a­tion projects was a doc­u­men­tary film about the Arthur Ashe statue on Mon­u­ment Av­enue.

Upon his move to New York City, he worked with his brother on sev­eral com­edy projects. The pair pro­duced a list of short films and the web se­ries “Kicked in the Nuts,” a spoof on hid­den cam­era shows.

Mike Henry praised his brother’s skills as a film editor who was more of an artist than a mere tech­ni­cian.

“He thought on many lev­els si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and he was very me­thod­i­cal to his ap­proach to film­mak­ing,” Henry said. “As a col­lab­o­ra­tor, I wanted to get things done, but he wanted them to get done on the high­est level.”

Mr. Henry moved to Los An­ge­les, where he made his splash on the na­tional stage as a con­trib­u­tor to “Fam­ily Guy” and “The Cleve­land Show.”

But he al­ways found time to bring at­ten­tion to causes that were dear to him. One of his fi­nal film projects was a doc­u­men­tary about Red Wig­gler Com­mu­nity Farm in Mont­gomery County, Md., where peo­ple with and with­out de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties grow healthy food.

“He had won­der­ful footage; this was his pas­sion,” his mother said. “He put his own money in there in go­ing up there. That was the kind of per­son that he was.”

When he wasn’t be­hind the cam­era or the cut­ting board, Mr. Henry was a pas­sion­ate fol­lower of the Bos­ton Red Sox.

He also had di­verse tastes in mu­sic, al­though no artist touched his soul like Ir­ish rock group U2.

“It was a joke among me and his friends how much into U2 he was. He would go to ev­ery show pos­si­ble,” his brother said.

Mr. Henry had lived with diabetes since age 2. He moved back to Richmond three years ago to be closer to his fam­ily as his kid­neys and liver be­gan to fail.

“Pa­trick was per­son­ally lim­ited by the cards he was dealt, but he re­ally pro­jected strength in a way that he saw things be­yond his lim­i­ta­tions,” his brother said. “He wanted to cre­ate things that would last longer than him­self, things that would last hun­dreds of years.”

Mr. Henry is sur­vived by his brother and mother.

A fu­neral ser­vice will be held on Fri­day, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 9505 Gay­ton Road in Hen­rico County.

A re­cep­tion will fol­low at The Coun­try Club of Vir­ginia’s James River Club­house, and a brief grave­side ser­vice will be held at 3 p.m. at Westhamp­ton Memo­rial Ceme­tery.


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