Norman Henley, a retired Russian-language and world literature teacher and academic editor, died of congestive heart failure at the Charlestown Retirement Community in
He became a Congregationalist minister and served in churches in Oregon and Vermont.
"His first church was in a small village in Oregon and he preached a sermon against the internment of the Japanese during the war. It was not a popular position to take," said his son, Christopher Henley of Ithaca, N.Y. "He had a strong streak of social justice and was not given to anger or righteous indignation."
"He believed the best of everybody," said his son, a
After his discharge from the Army, he attended graduate school at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and the
He moved to Washington and worked briefly as a secretary to
He moved to Baltimore and from 1959 to 1988 taught at the
"His first love was literature," said his former wife, Nancy Main, who is a retired
She said he often walked to classes from his Abell Avenue home attired in a beret and carrying a green Harvard book bag.
Mr. Henley edited the "Russian Prose Reader" in 1963 and translated Aleksandr Pushkin's "Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin" in 1965 and "Without a Dowry & Other Plays" by Alexander Ostrovsky in 1997.
Although Mr. Henley decided not to pursue the ministry after his discharge from the Army, he remained an active churchgoer. He was a longtime member and former head usher of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation.
"He was the face of the cathedral for a long time," said Fran Brown, a member of the bishop's staff at the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. "He was warm, kind and welcoming. He was the kind of person who made everybody feel at home."
She said he had the ability to draw a newcomer out and often jotted notes about them. He then shared these facts with the clergy.
"When the church doors closed, he took what he learned there home and lived his life in Christian faith," said Ms. Brown. "To him, every stranger was an angel."
Friends recalled that Mr. Henley was known for his helpfulness to others. When a member of the cathedral's congregation, Ephraim Oduche, an immigrant from Nigeria, faced amputation of his foot, Mr. Henley took him into his home for his recuperation. They remained friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. March 31 at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 E. University Parkway.
In addition to his son, survivors include a grandson. He also had a 25-year relationship with Frances Hurwitz of Newark, Del., who died in 2006.