Henry T. Segerstrom – farmer, philanthropist and visionary – died after a brief illness at the age of 91.
Segerstrom created South Coast Plaza and was the founder and major benefactor of Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
I had an opportunity to get to know Henry and his wife, Elizabeth, while working on projects with them at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts over the last 15 years. With their understanding and deep respect for the arts, I was honored and humbled by their trust in me to do personal photographic projects with them, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons and South Coast Plaza.
Growing up in Orange County, I knew and appreciated how much Henry had done to help expose both residents of and visitors to Orange County to the best art in the world. I would thank him for that every time I saw him.
With all the people in his life, I was touched that Henry always remembered my name. His warm smile and firm hand shake told me how much he appreciated the work I was asked to do for them.
Like so many whose lives he touched, hearing the news of his passing was very sad. Being asked by Elizabeth to document the public and private family memorials was an honor – albeit one with a heavy heart. Though I know the family will continue his vision and add to the legacy he began, there will only ever be one Henry T. Segerstrom. I can see his smile and his keen eyes in my mind as I write this. I will miss him!