In Memory

Don Hensel

Don Hensel

Behind his mild-mannered tax attorney exterior, Donald "Don" P. Hensel had an irreverent sense of humor that unfailingly found the absurd in every day events. He lived a life of amazing accomplishment in his unexpectedly short life, managing to reach the highest levels of success in every endeavor he attempted. 

Don was born in Toledo, Ohio on August 10, 1970 to his parents, Pamela Whittington and Barry Hensel. His family moved to Indian Harbor Beach, Florida at the age of 10, where he completed high school with honors. Don went on to attend Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he graduated number one in his class while serving as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper. 

In 1992, Don entered Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His strong academic achievement earned him a place with the Harvard Law Review and resulted in magna cum laude honors upon graduation in 1995. He then began a judicial clerkship with the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, whom he considered both a mentor and friend. When he completed the clerkship in 1996, he joined the tax department at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia, where he made partner several years later. 

While many people think they are the smartest person in the room, Don usually was – but one would never know it from the way he acted (with the exception of the times he played trivia games). He was unfailingly courteous and kind to everyone around him and the first to volunteer when a friend was in need. He was an outstanding listener in both his professional and personal life, and was often able to solve the complex problems that stumped those around him. This gave him a great deal of pleasure, as he considered the practice of law akin to putting a challenging puzzle together.

While at Harvard Law School, he met his wife, Wendy, who he married in Macon, Georgia on a beautiful spring day in 1995. They recently celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary on a cruise through the inside passage of Alaska, where Don successfully tried his hand at dog sledding and go-cart driving. Don always considered their two beautiful children – Grace, 11 and Luke, 9 – to be his greatest accomplishments in life. He was a loving father who, despite his busy work schedule, never failed to take the time to attend school conferences, band concerts, and bingo nights with his children. He treasured the time he spent with his family at their home on Fripp Island, South Carolina, searching out the location of wild alligators while riding in his golf cart. He will be sorely missed and never replaced.