Henry Lessing

Obituary of Henry Couvillon Lessing

Resident of Los Altos & The Forum at Rancho San Antonio

On Memorial Day 2020, Henry (Hank) Lessing, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away at the age of 95. Henry was born in New Orleans in 1925, and spent most of his young life in Kerrville, Texas. In June of 1943, he joined the Army Air Corps program. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and received his wings in June 1944. Postwar, Henry attended University of Illinois where he met his wife, Kathryn (Kay) Petersen, and earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1948 he began his 32 year career with NASA. He continued his education at Stanford University graduating with a Masters of Engineering Science.  As a natural born leader, he rose to the position of Chief of the Avionics Systems Branch. After retiring in 1980, he began his second career of 32 years as a Professor of Mathematics at San Jose City College. He retired for the second time at the age of 86. 


Hank developed a strong work ethic when he was a young boy who worked hard to help support his family during the depression. He took an interest in everyone he met and became a friend to all who knew him. He volunteered over the years helping seniors in Los Altos, working at a homeless shelter, repairing homes, and delivering meals. Henry was a long standing parishioner and founding member of St. William Parish where he and Kathryn developed a circle of life-long friends. Hank enjoyed dancing with his wife, family vacations, traveling with friends, happy hours with neighbors, playing tennis, hosting parties, reading, and giving his grandkids a “big squeeze”. Throughout his final years, he was regarded by his family as a role model of love and devotion, for the sweet and steady care he provided for his wife, Kay.


Hank is survived by Kay, his wife of nearly 72 years. He was the loving father and father-in-law to Richard and Mary Jo Lessing, Diane and Jim McKittrick, Paul Lessing, and Teresa Lessing. He was the proud grandfather of Evan, Heather, Ashley, Cameron, Hannah, A.J, Michael, and great-grandfather of Amos. Henry was much loved and respected. He has positively impacted many lives, will be deeply missed, and will be fondly remembered by all who had the opportunity to know him. 


A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. Please sign the virtual guest book and we will notify you when the service will be held. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Henry Lessing, please visit Tribute Store
Services for Henry Lessing
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or planting a memorial tree in memory of Henry Lessing.
Visit the Tribute Store
Share Your Memory of