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Remembering Henry Wong

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) community is mourning the loss of Henry Wong, a senior chemistry student who died over the weekend of April 6, 2019. 

Wong, a six-year Navy veteran, had previously served on the U.S.S. Nimitz while on active duty. He began classes in Durham this spring, as a transfer student from UMass Lowell. 

The staff of UNH Military and Veteran Services spoke to Wong’s character. 

“In the short time he was here, Henry shared our space at Hood House frequently,” Military and Veteran Service (MVS) Director Karen Gilbert said. “He liked to use the kitchen and other common areas to relax.” 

“He was a hard worker, who also liked to help other students with informal tutoring,” Military Benefits Specialist Jessica Willis said. “And he loved his chemistry major.” 

“Henry was very much focused,” Penny Watson of MVS said. “He was here to do the work of a student.” 

“I first met Henry at our spring orientation activities in January,” Elizabeth Kipp of the MVS office said. “I stayed with him when he had to wait in line at the ID office; he seemed very pleased by this. We had a nice conversation; he was really a genuine person.” 

Kipp spoke to Wong’s strong family ties.  

“Henry spoke highly of his mother; he also provided care for his brother, who is handicapped. Henry had a great enthusiasm for learning new things; not just chemistry but languages as well.”      

Kipp noticed how Wong was difficult to draw out, but once he connected with people he had a voracious joy for knowledge and getting to know others. “And he loved to use room G04 in the Veteran’s Lounge to take breaks,” Kipp said. “I would check in with him to see if he needed anything.” 

“Henry was deeply involved in the veteran community,” his friend Zack Smalley said. “He enjoyed going to shooting ranges, the Japanese culture (he taught himself Japanese), loved chemistry, and would take care of his family emotionally and financially.” 

During this time of loss, students are encouraged to use the many resources here on campus. UNH Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) provides help and guidance to the UNH community Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in-person in Smith Hall. PACS can be reached by phone at (603) 862-2090. In addition, the Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff at (800) 424-1749. During any crisis, do not hesitate to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK. 

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