Leon Henke - February 13, 2012Leon Henke, 89, of Harvard, died Feb. 13, 2012, at the Harvard Rest Haven.
A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, at the United Church of Christ in Harvard. Pastor Dave Johnson will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Harvard Cemetery. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
Leon Virgil Henke, son of Herman and Helena (Butt) Henke, was born in Western on May 12, 1922.
Leon was born and raised in Western. During his childhood he survived Rheumatic Fever, missing one full year of school. He graduated from Western Public Schools in 1940. Following his graduation he worked at a creamery in Western when he was drafted into the United States Army in December of 1942. Leon served in World War II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. He was a truck driver in the 327th Medical Service Detachment. He qualified as Rifleman Marksman, Carbine Expert and Browning Automatic Rifle Marksman. Leon was honorably discharged in May of 1945 when he came home to see his two-year-old son for the first time.
Leon was united in marriage to Leone Eudece Chase on Aug. 19, 1942 at Marysville, Kan. After being married and out of the service Leon and Leone resided in Friend for 30 years. Leon worked as head mechanic at Roush Chevy Garage then grader operator for Saline County. They moved to Denver, Colo. in 1967 where he worked in heavy equipment and then for the State of Colorado Boys Detention Center as a carpenter and maintenance man. They moved to Harvard in July of 1998. He resided in his home until Jan. 20, 2011, when he moved into the Harvard House Assisted Living. Leon and Leone celebrated 69 years of marriage together (that’s a lot of polkas and waltzes) and they loved to dance.
Leon was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Friend and sang in the church choir for many years. When they moved to Harvard he attended the Harvard United Church of Christ. He was a member of the American Legion Post #183 in Friend and the VFW in Colorado and Harvard. He enjoyed bowling and was an avid hunter and fisherman and he hunted just this past winter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Leone, on Oct. 3, 2011; brothers, Leslie at birth, Leonard, Rohlan, Raymond and Elmer Henke; sister, Laverna Lintz; sisters-in-law, Hulda, Mary and Valera Henke; brother-in-law, Edgar Lintz; nephew, Dana Henke and son-in-law, Michael Olson.
Survivors include his son, Virgil (Judy) Henke of Townsend, Mont.; daughter, Barbara Olson of Aurora; five grandchildren, Todd (Kelly) Olson of Hastings, Shane (Jeni) Olson of Aurora, Corey (Angela) Olson of Columbus, Leon (Rose) Henke of Townsend, Mont. and Dawn (David) Atwood of Helena, Mont.; 13 great-grandchildren, Brandon (Danyel) Henke of Colorado Springs, Colo., Stevn (Jasmine) Henke of Townsend, Mont., Laytecia (Justin) Zindell of Tacoma, Wash., Isaac Olson of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Gavin Olson of Hastings, Christian Olson of Aurora, Devon Olson of Hastings, Shaylyn Olson of Aurora, Ian Olson of Aurora, Jalynn and Joselyn Olson of Columbus, Dylan and Dyantha Atwood of Helena, Mont.; three great-great grandchildren, Jackaline Zindell and Caitlyn Cavara of Tacoma, Wash. and Autumn Rose Henke of Colorado Springs, Colo. and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.