July 23, 1934 – Oct. 2, 2017
HENDERSON, NEVADA -- John H. Henkens was a humble man who lived a humble life. He was a friendly person who truly cared about those around him. Everyone who knew him loved him.
John was born on July 23, 1934, in Fremont. He was the son of Henry and Ruth Henkens. Raised in Fremont, John was the youngest child and lived on a farm with his two sisters, Marcella and Pat.
John took part in several activities as a child, including Future Farmers of America and 4-H. He also played high school football. He graduated from Fremont Senior High School in 1951. After a brief job as a mechanic after high school and his work on the farm, he decided to join the Air Force in 1953, a career he enjoyed until retiring in 1974.
During John’s commission in the Air Force, he served his country in 1968 during the Vietnam conflict. He received the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Services Expeditionary Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. Upon return, he was stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois until 1972 when he served a tour in Turkey. Upon his return in 1973, he was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha to be closer to his ailing father, before retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant in 1974.
After the military, John returned to Utah where he would meet the love of his life, Judy. John and Judy were married at Hill Air Force Base Chapel on July 6, 1979. Shortly thereafter, John started working for General Dynamics on the F-16 Project. During the next 13 years, this assignment took him and Judy to Egypt, Venezuela, and Indonesia. His second retirement saw a return to the states, settling in Henderson, Nevada. Judy began a real estate business, Asset Realty, and John became Chief of Maintenance, a role he had until his death.
John was blessed with four children, Debra, Kristy, Joan and Steve, and three stepchildren, Debbie, Shawn, and Gerry. He and Judy also adopted a granddaughter, Melody. In addition, he was blessed with 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
John had several hobbies. He was a voracious reader, loved his swimming pool and Nebraska Cornhusker football, and played tennis. Not only was Judy the love of his life, but so was his dog, Chelsea, who preceded him in death.
John passed away on Oct. 2, 2017, at St. Rose of Lima Hospital in Henderson, Nevada. He is survived by his wife, Judy; one sister, Marcella; children: Debra, Kristy, Joan, Steve, Shawn (Elke), Gerry (Mily), Debbie, and Melody; 18 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren. Services will be held at Palm Henderson Mortuary on Oct. 7. John will be laid to rest in Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada.
John had a huge heart and will be missed by his family and friends.