Funeral services for Jim Henry will be held Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Henry's final resting place will be in Graceland Park Cemetery. Visitation hours for the public will be from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5th with the family present 6-8 p.m. at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel.
Longtime Siouxland broadcaster Jim Henry, known to generations of children as the "Canyon Kid," died Thursday. He was 89 years old.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Henry came to Sioux City in 1944 when he trained with a B-17 bomber crew at the Sioux City Air Base. Henry said he always remembered the wind and grit blowing in his teeth as he walked up Nebraska Street to spend his first night in town at the Warrior Hotel.
Later that year, Henry deployed to Europe. After 34 missions, he was replaced by another soldier. That replacement, and Henry's B-17, were shot down during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, Henry returned to Sioux City, working at Weatherwax Men's Clothing. He joined a local theater group, and became one of the founders of Sioux City Community Theater.
In 1953, in the very early days of television, Henry convinced KVTV (now KCAU) to put him on the air as the host of a children's show.
According to Siouxland News anchor Larry Wentz, Henry once said he chose a cowboy outfit because it was the cheapest thing he could find.
On the air, Henry took the name "Canyon Kid" -- inspired not by the canyons of the wild west, but the canyons formed by the skyscrapers in his native New York.
Henry's love of the theater led to years of interviews with some of the biggest names in TV and film.
Like many in Sioux City television, Henry considered moving to a larger market. But a visit from Bob Keeshan, TV's Captain Kangaroo, changed his mind.
Keeshan asked Henry if he was happy. "Then you don't want to go if you're happy here," Keeshan told him. "You don't want to get into that rat race."
The Canyon Kid's show changed over the years, shrinking in format and hours. He had his last roundup in 1985. Shortly after that, Henry was among numerous employees let go in an ownership change at KCAU.
Henry moved into the insurance industry, but returned to television a few years later, hosting an interview program on KTIV until his retirement.
Henry and his wife Karen moved to Michigan in 2013 to be closer to their son. He died peacefully on Thursday night, according to family.
A memorial service will be held in Sioux City. Arrangements are pending.