Gary Henthorn, son of BendPak Inc. owners Don and Ginger Henthorn and himself the founder of automotive service equipment brands Dannmar, Garage Equipment Supply and MaxJax, died surrounded by family and friends at home Feb. 4, 2023, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 52.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, Gary Henthorn,” Don and Ginger Henthorn said in a press release. “Gary was a kind and loving person who brought joy to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of being part of his life. We take comfort in knowing that Gary is now at peace.”
Gary grew up working in the family business. He started as a teenager on the BendPak shop floor and after many years of increasing responsibility was eventually promoted to vice president. Entrepreneurship ran in his veins, and he established a construction company, Henthorn Construction, in Malibu, California, in 2008, followed by Garage Equipment Supply, Dannmar Equipment Inc. and MaxJax. In 2014, he patented a two-post vehicle lift with opposing lift carriages.
Although he once described the BendPak culture as “work, work, and then work some more,” Gary had fun outside the office. He played in youth and adult hockey leagues, loved surfing, and enjoyed boating on the lake near his home in Westlake Village, California. He was an enthusiastic golfer and adventurous skier and snowboarder. He also loved traveling with his family and had visited all seven continents. In 2008, he earned his private pilot’s license.
A devoted father, Gary is survived by his children, Annika, Reagan, Carson and Kennedy Henthorn; as well as his fiancée, Jessica Dabbs, and her four children; his loving parents; his sister Susan; and many cousins and other relatives.
“Gary was a dedicated father, fiancé and friend. He was known for his infectious smile, contagious laugh and positive outlook on life,” said Jeff Kritzer, BendPak president and CEO. “Even in the face of adversity during his battle with cancer, he lived each day like it was a new adventure. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
Services were held Feb. 16 at the United Methodist Church, followed by burial at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks-Griffin Memorial Park, both in Westlake Village. In lieu of flowers, the family asks any donations to be made to an animal rescue organization or other charity of the donor’s choice.
For a look back on Gary’s life, please visit the BendPak blog.