Texas Hill Country News

Billye Henry, Founder of Schlitterbahn Waterparks Passes Away

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Tony Maples Photography


Billye Henry, one of the founders of Schlitterbahn waterparks passed away on Thursday, August 17. Mrs. Henry, (better known as “Miss Billye,” around town) was a fixture in the New Braunfels community. Those who remember “Miss Billye” and her legacy took to the Schlitterbahn Facebook page to leave their condolences and share what Schlitterbahn has meant to Texas families over the decades.

Humble Beginnings of Schlitterbahn

first slide at Schlitterbahn

Photo: Schlitterbahn Waterparks 

Bob and Billye Henry moved to New Braunfels in 1966 and took over a small resort along the banks of the Comal River. Originally, the Henrys had a humble plan to add a couple of water slides to the resort to entice more guests. After the Henrys saw how well-received their small resort slides were, they decided to keep building.

As word spread and more guests began visiting their resort, the Henrys realized that they had the potential for a water park. But first, this waterpark needed a name. The Henrys wanted to pay homage to New Braunfels, so they researched German words. They settled on “Schlitterbahn,” a made-up word combining the German word for slippery – Schlitter – with the German word for road – Bahn. Schlitterbahn opened in the summer of 1979.

Leaving Behind A Legacy of Hard Work and Family

The Henry Family Billye Henry
Photo: Schlitterbahn Waterparks

According to the Schlitterbahn Facebook page, Mrs. Billye Henry always had a “particular love for the resort side of the business, and did everything from rising early in the morning to bake biscuits for guests in the early days to managing resort operations overall.” Mr. Bob Henry passed away in November of 2016. He left a legacy of hard work and a devoted family.

By putting families first and providing them with unique water entertainment found nowhere else, the Henry family put Schlitterbahn on the globe. Schlitterbahn consistently delivers, not only world-class water parks in five cities across the country but a tremendous value for families and friends to build new memories every day.

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