Alan D. Henningsen, 61

Alan D. Henningsen of Parkville, MD passed away July 29, 2021 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was born in Greensburg, IN December 24, 1959 the son of Alfred R. and Jean A. (Morgan) Henningsen. Alan was the Fishes Research Specialist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD for the past 32 years.

Alan was a 1978 graduate of Greensburg High School and attended the University of Miami Florida, where he obtained a Masters degree in Marine Biology. He worked at the Rosenstiel School in the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Egypt, and Israel working in the Red Sea focusing on shark research under Dr. Samuel H. Gruber who was one of the leading authorities in shark research. He had great enthusiasm for shark and ray research as well as a desire to push through conservation measures. Alan was also a member of the American Elasmobranch Society for the IUCN’s shard and ray research group.

But Alan’s true passion was his love for Jesus Christ. He volunteered for dozens of groups helping the less fortunate. He and his family always carried food and water in their car to provide to the homeless. But he also took the opportunity to speak and learn their stories. He and his family went on several mission trips to South America spreading the word of Jesus Christ to underdeveloped countries. Although Lou Gehrig’s Disease may have stripped most of his organs he gave until the end by donating his skin to Living Legacy.

Survivors include his wife of 31-years Nanci (Saffer) Henningsen, Sons Ashby (AJ) Henningsen, Avery (Genise) Henningsen and grandson Asaiah Alan Henningsen of Parkville, MD. He also leaves behind his brother Tracy H. (Niki) Henningsen, nephew Andrew D. Henningsen and niece Libby J. Henningsen of Greensburg. He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred R. and Jean A. Henningsen.

A Celebration of Alan’s life will be held in Baltimore, MD on August 14th. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alan Henningsen, visit

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