Oracle has lost one of its dear members in the passing of Henry Michael Szabla. Henry passed away at his campsite on Oct. 30, 2019. He was preceded in death by parents, John and Gladys; brothers, Kenneth, James, Joseph and John; sister, Stella; sister-in-law, Florence (James); and brother-in-law, Randy (Stella).
Henry is survived by a sister, Mary Ann; aunt, Helen; sisters-in-law, Marlys, Mavis, and Sandy; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, nephews, and great-great nieces.
Henry was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 17, 1936. He grew to love the outdoors. Throughout his life, he traveled the “open road” on his beloved motorcycles touching the hearts of many. One of his favorite areas was northern Minnesota, where he lived for many years. In his later years, he found peace, comfort, and caring friends in the community of Oracle, Arizona.
He was cared for by many who knew what a wonderful human being he was. He truly was a good soul who cared for his family and friends, as well as strangers. He would give or donate to others saying they needed it more than he did. He had a deep concern for children. It brought him great joy to give to children, donating to schools, or giving in several other ways such as warm clothing, toys, and books. It genuinely made him happy to help children or to see their grateful faces.
He also loved to read. History was one of his favorite areas of interest, but his appetite for knowledge was extensive and read up on many subjects. Mark Twain was one of his favorite authors. He enjoyed listening to a variety of music on his CD player. He dreamed of learning to play the concertina. He enjoyed gardening and was very knowledgeable about organic gardening going way back in years.
In finding Oracle, he soon found a great friend in Rudy Rivera. Rudy, Gloria, their children, and grandchildren all came to know and understand Henry. Casa Rivera became Henry’s “home base.” The Rivera family did so much more than look after him over the years. Among many other things, they provided him with shelter, food, support, and friendship. Importantly, they included him in their family. Henry would so often say they were his best friends. Henry liked being part of the restaurant and felt good if he could help out. One of his greatest pleasures was going to Nogales with the Riveras making donations to the children. The Rivera family cannot be thanked enough for what they have done for Henry.
Through the years Henry developed friendships with other caring people in Oracle, with whom Henry shared humor, stories and knowledge. So many people looked out for Henry’s well-being also helping him with food, clothing, shelter, transportation, learning skills, and, again, in so many other ways. The family of Henry Szaba would like to sincerely express their deepest gratitude to the Riveras, his friends, and all those who welcomed Henry into the community. A special thanks to Craig Anderson and the Oracle Community Center for organizing a memorial at Henry’s campsite where he found the solitude and the peace he sought.