Long-time Rogue Valley industry and community leader Richard Frank Hensley, 80, passed away at his Medford home on June 21.

Long-time Rogue Valley industry and community leader Richard Frank Hensley, 80, passed away at his Medford home on June 21.

Hensley was involved in the local paving industry for 35 years, helping create Southern Oregon's largest paving company — LTM Corp. — now a unit of Knife River.

Hensley served as chairman of the boards of Rogue Valley Medical Center, Rogue Valley Health Services and Health Future Inc. He served as interim president and CEO of RVMC in 1991.

"He was someone larger than life," said Skip Patterson, who served on hospital boards with Hensley. "He was involved in many things from the Pear Blossom Run to Asante Health System. He was a quick study and was able to help people along, gain a consensus and motivate."

In 2000, Rogue Valley Medical Center Foundation honored Hensley with the A.S.V. Carpenter Distinguished Citizen Award, going to a person exemplifying outstanding volunteerism and philanthropic leadership to charitable health-related institutions.

"He did a sterling job of work with the hospital," Patterson said. "He was the one to make a decision to go into Grants Pass. While it had some elements of discord with city of Grants Pass and the locals, he went to work on the project. His integrity and dedication to a cause were important and with his negotiating skills he could convince people this was the right way to do things. That's the reason why there is Three Rivers Hospital in Grants Pass today."

Hensley also served on the boards of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Pacific Institute of Natural Science, as a trustee and vice president of the Oregon Community Foundation and as director for Oregon Advocates for the Arts.

He was president of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, a trustee of the Oregon State University Foundation, and a commissioner for the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.

He served on the Rogue Valley Foundation board, Chamber of Medford/Jackson County board and Vision 1980 Committee. He was honored as first citizen of Medford in 1986 and in 1988 became the first Southern Oregonian to earn Associated Oregon Industries' Business Leader of the Year recognition.

Hensley was a member of former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's transition team and also worked with former governors Barbara Roberts and Vic Atiyeh.

Born in North Carolina, Hensley moved to Los Angeles as a child. He graduated from Inglewood High School, earned a teaching degree at Pepperdine University, and did graduate work at the University of Southern California. He was a student teacher at an East Los Angeles high school.

He taught and coached for three years in Manhattan Beach before serving two years in the U.S. Army.

He moved to Medford in the 1950s to take a job with Medford Concrete Construction Co. and in 1957 he was offered a job as general manager of Asphalt Paving Co.

He was president of Tru-Mix Construction Co. and several related companies when it merged with Lininger to become LTM, where he was chairman and chief executive.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.