Henning, Jerome Keith (1940-2008)

Jerome Henning, 68, died Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at Thief River Care Center, Thief River Falls, MN.

Jerome Keith Henning was born September 1, 1940 to Cleo and Eddie Henning of Holt, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and grew up in the Middle River and Thief Lake areas.

He attended school in Holt and Middle River and graduated from Middle River High School in 1958 and spent 6 years in the National Guard, Thief River Falls unit, where he was awarded top honors in sharp shooting.

He was employed at B & N Oil Company in Grand Forks, ND, as a mechanic from 1963-1966. He was married to Sharon Gregerson on February 8, 1969, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. They made their home there where he was employed by Aaseby’s Garage and Stordahl Truck Lines. They then moved to the Thief Lake area where he was employed as a heavy equipment mechanic for the Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area until his retirement in 2002. They purchased the John Henning farm in 1973, did custom baling and raised beef cattle and small grain. They took many foster children into their home, sponsored children in Jamaica, Bolivia, and Kenya and also served as care-givers to many friends and relatives.

After his retirement from his mechanic occupation, he worked part time at the Seven Clans Casino where he enjoyed visiting and spreading cheer along with his duties.

He was chosen Middle River’s Outstanding Senior Citizen and represented the city at the Marshall County Fair in July of this year. He was also chosen Outstanding Senior Citizen of Marshall County and represented the county at the Minnesota State Fair in August.

Jerome was a lifetime member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Thief Lake where he served as council president and was active in all aspects of the church. He was very active in all Middle River Community activities and organizations, serving as president and trustee of the Middle River Community Club. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 444 and the Thief River Falls Eagles. Jerome was an avid outdoorsman and held nature and wildlife in high regard. His hunting escapades could fill a book. But he was just as comfortable with a microphone in his hand as a gun! He served as emcee and spokesman at many events and impersonated Elvis Presley at a variety of Activities. He could be considered the godfather of the Middle River Community Theatre. He was on the board of directors since it’s inception serving as President, Vice President, and Treasurer. He worked with every production in a variety of capacities-master carpenter, set construction, assistant director, and beloved actor! His performance on the stage in many plays and musicals was always a hit with the audience. But his role of Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey was the epitome of Jerome’s nature -Lines like “In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant, ” and “oh, every day is a beautiful day,” was written for Elwood but described Jerome Perfectly. The theatre was his second home and he was instrumental in its growth and development.

He enjoyed travels to Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, and Alaska with his last trip being to Camano Island in Washington for a Henning family reunion. His favorite pastimes were dancing, haying, and delivering bales, making repairs, and working at the Middle River Community Theatre. His greatest gift was visiting and bringing cheer to everyone around him.

Jerome was an honorary member of the Flying V American Cancer Society Relay for Life team and fought gallantly against the only enemy he ever encountered in life – Cancer. He passed away on September 30th at the Thief River Care Center at the age of 68 years, 29 days.

Jerome was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; two sisters, Jeanelle (Ivan) Johnson of Holt and KayDell (Tom) Super of Middle River; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

[Interred Our Saviors Lutheran cemetery]

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky

Author: W Saewyc

An amateur genealogist and internet hobbyist.

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