Leon E. Henkel

  • BORN: May 13, 1925
  • DIED: January 7, 2018
  • LOCATION: Whiting, Iowa

Leon E. Henkel, 92, of Whiting, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, January 7, 2018, at Burgess Health Center in Onawa, Iowa, surrounded by his family.

Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M. Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the First Congregational Church, U.C.C., in Whiting, with Pastor Nea Stepp officiating. Burial will follow in the Onawa Cemetery in Onawa, with military honors provided by the United States Navy and the Emery-Johnson American Legion Post #481 of Whiting. Visitation will be 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 12, 2018, with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M., at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service in Onawa.

Leon Eugene Henkel was born on May 13, 1925, in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of Carl and Ruth (Jones) Henkel. He served in the United States Navy during World War II from September 9, 1942 until his honorable discharge on October 22, 1945, and attained the rank of Seaman 1st Class. He was stationed on three ships during his service, U.S.S. Charles F. Hughes, U.S.S. Moale, and U.S.S. Brush.

Leon met Frances "Faye" Larson while working at the Johnson Biscuit Company, and they were united in marriage on December 17, 1948, in Sioux City. Four children were born to this union, Terry, Beverly, Becki, and Chuck. The couple made their home in Whiting.

Leon was a 60 year member of the Emery Johnson American Legion Post #481 of Whiting. He was also a 50 year member of the First Congregational Church, U.C.C. in Whiting.

Leon worked hard his entire life as a farm hand, packing house worker, local truck driver, carpenter, and too many other jobs to name. He prided himself in having anything from bolts, nuts, tools, or parts in his garage that anyone may need later down the line. He was an avid collector of "things".

He dearly loved going to any Whiting sporting event and rarely would miss one after his retirement. Music has always been a love of his, from singing in glee clubs on the radio in his younger days, to playing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the beginning of ballgames, to "Silent Night" at most of the Christmas Eve candlelight services on his harmonica.

On September 11, 2015, Leon went to live at Pleasant View Care Center in Whiting, after years of volunteering there on bingo days and special events as the harmonica player. Leon always had a story to tell to anyone who would sit close enough to listen.

Survivors include one daughter and her husband, Becki and Dave Cooper of Whiting, IA, and their children, Gabe and his wife Blaar and their three children, Tatum, Lexie, and Kylie of Whiting, Iowa and Laci and her husband Jeremy Gran of Soldier, IA; one son and his wife, Chuck and Cindy Henkel of Whiting, IA; and one sister, Doris Skinner of Cody, WY.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Ruth Henkel; his wife, Faye Henkel on February 25, 2001; two children, Terry Henkel and Beverly Henkel; one grandson, Cody Cooper; and seven siblings.

Condolences may be left online for the family at www.rushfamilycareservice.com


“ May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived. ”

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