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Henry V. Soper

November 12, 2020

Dear classmates,

I am sad to let you know that, after a long illness, our friend and classmate Henry Soper, Ph.D., passed away on November 5, 2020 at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. Living in Camarillo, CA, Henry had been a full faculty member of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara for over 25 years, where he taught the subject that was his passion: neuropsychology. He is survived by his brother Tom, nephew Michael Soper and niece Michelle Friedline and their spouses, all of Anchorage, Alaska.

Tom writes of him: “His area of expertise was the frontal lobe and he wrote several books on that, along with a huge number of publications over his career. He also maintained a robust private practice, with emphasis on helping court-referred juveniles. He was an amazing brother to me and an amazing friend, teacher, mentor, doctor and teammate to countess people. And just a really nice guy.” That was the Henry I, too, knew as my friend. He will be deeply missed.

I first met Henry at our 30th Class Reunion and what quickly drew us together was our service as U.S. Army officers in the Vietnam War. Henry served from 1966 to 1968, was a 1st Lieutenant, executive officer of a combat engineering company, and was awarded the Bronze Star. During our friendship since then, I found Henry to be loyal, incredibly kind and dedicated to the students he could help to succeed, and passionate about our country, his work, and his vacations in wilderness areas. In 2007 he sent me “One Soldier’s Story,” his unvarnished account of coming home from Vietnam. It is rough, but contains one dream all Vietnam veterans could readily share: “I had dreamed of coming home to cold Connecticut, getting into my car, driving to warm Florida, buying a hamburger and a milkshake, and walking to the beach.”

Henry’s memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 22 on the Pierce Brothers Mortuary grounds at 5600 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village near Thousand Oaks, CA. Tom writes: “When you turn right into their facility, the administration building will be on the right. That’s where the bathrooms are. Continue driving straight and after 100 to 200 yards there is a HUGE open space on the left. Park on the street right there. There will be a small tent set up with tables appropriately distanced around the field. We’re limited to 50 people for the gathering, so please RSVP. They furnish 30 collapsible chairs so if some of us bring a lawn chair or two we’ll have plenty.” Tom of course understands COVID concerns but for those who are able to attend, writes: “Let’s really celebrate the amazing life of Henry Soper.” Tom’s e-mail address is: alaskansince1970@yahoo.com.

Rob Van Leeuwen ‘66