Widow of John Tyler teacher shares memories

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Two weeks ago John Tyler High School teacher, Todd Henry, was stabbed to death in his classroom. Now, his widow, Jan Henry shares with East Texas his passion for music, special needs children and their incredible love story.

Jan Henry says her husband lived to make a difference, and music was his passion. He would use it for therapy with special needs children. And, near the end of his life, Todd found his soul mate. He and Jan were only married 10 months - still newlyweds.

"I've had my love," said Jan. "I mean, it's just amazing. It's like when we started dating and I started watching movies going, 'Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! That is the kind of kiss. That is the kind of kiss he gives me. Oh my gosh.' I now have a love to know exactly what they felt when they wrote those songs."

Before they met, Todd Henry worked in the prison system. Jan says it was that experience that called him to work with troubled kids.

"If he could work with them young and help them understand the world better, then they may not end up in jail," said Jan.

"You said that a lot of people are hurting and a lot of people are scared. Parents especially with kids and what's going on in schools these days. What do you think Todd would say about all this?" I asked Jan.

"[He would say] we're going to make it better," replied Jan. "His best friend from Houston said, 'You know, if that was a teacher from next door, what do you think Todd would be doing right now?' [He] said, 'He'd be on that internet and searching what would make it better. That's Todd.'"

Jan says even through his tragic death, he is making a difference.

"This happened for a reason and things will get better in Texas and kids will feel safer and things," said Jan. "There's reasons."

Her strong spirit is admirable to many.

"If it wasn't for prayer and love and my family..." said Jan. "My kids keep going, 'Momma, you're such a strong person, you're so strong.' And, I don't know why I have been very strong through all this. I've got a lot more to be strong for but I've just, he didn't like me to cry. He didn't want me to be sad so I can't do that right now."

And, though he may be gone from this earth, Jan says Todd lives on through his music, memories, and forever in her heart.

"Every time I talked about him, I had this glowing [feeling]," said Jan. "Yeah, I loved the man, I love the man right now. In the morning, I wake up and go to bed at night and say, 'Goodnight, Sweetie.'"

Jan says another thing Todd loved was traveling by train. Jan is planning to take their last train ride together and scatter his ashes close to their one year anniversary.

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