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Henke, Berniece Catherine (1920-2017)


Posted By: Paul Nagy (email)
Date: 12/20/2017 at 15:26:54

Berniece Catherine Henke
November 21, 1920 - November 15, 2017

Berniece Catherine (Peck) Henke was born in Rock Township, Cherokee County, Iowa, on November 21, 1920, to Harold Alonzo and Mary Ann (Zimmer) Peck. She was baptized into the Catholic Faith at the Maryhill Church.

During her childhood, Berniece attended several country schools, receiving most of her schooling at Webb. Her family moved several times as they faced the hardships of the Great Depression. An avid speller, she won many school spelling bees which served her well in her hobbies later in life. Her family moved to the Storm Lake area by her eighth grade year, and upon its completion, she started to work for farm families in the area as did her older brothers to assist with the financial needs of her family.

Berniece never lost her connection with the Maryhill area as her grandparents and several aunts and uncles still lived and farmed in the area. This ongoing connection led her back to work for and live with the George family near Maryhill. As a result, a courtship blossomed between her and Joseph Henke. On January 26th, 1943, she married Joseph Henke at St. Mary's Church in Storm Lake. They enjoyed attending barn dances as well as going on fishing trips and picnics with friends at the Iowa Great Lakes in the early years of their marriage. Eventually, Berniece settled into her life as a farm wife and mother, living her strong commitment to her Catholic faith and her family. Dairy farmers, she and her husband, Joe, would move to his parents farm in 1956, where she continued to live until May 1st of this year. Berniece and Joe milked cows, raised chickens as well as ducks and geese, and worked the family farm until they retired.

Berniece, always, had a big garden each summer and would can everything from ketchup to sauerkraut. Her children, always, came home from school to the welcoming daily aromas of her canning or baking, and home cooked meals. With her cookie jar never empty, cheese curls in the cupboard, and a full candy dish, she was always ready for and anticipated her grandchildren's visits. In the winter when there was no garden to tend, she spent many hours embroidering, caring for her grandchildren, and playing cards or Scrabble, which she loved.

Berniece lived her life as a member of the Maryhill Church, and when winds destroyed it in 2006, she grieved the loss of her church and its community one mile from her home. Berniece, also, endured the loss of her parents, Harold and Mary Ann Peck; her siblings and their spouses, Joseph Peck, Louis and Marge Peck, Raymond and Betty Peck, Francis and Lois Peck, Cecilia Peck, Leonard and Maxine Peck, Ann and Gene Carrington, Grace and Bob Coombs, Lloyd and Betty Peck, James Letts, Rozella and Ed Charbonneau.

In 1989, Berniece lost her beloved husband, Joseph, and endured the loss of his parents, Joseph and Julia Henke, as well as his siblings, Lucille and Roman Tentinger, Harold and Rita Henke, Hilda and Floyd Reinert, and Margaret Ann and Bob George; two sons-in-law, Stephen Cosgrove and Ivan Bobolz; a grandchild, Angie Henke; a great grandchild, Cole Gries; and a step-great grandchild, Eathon Cosgrove.

Those left to cherish and embrace her memory include a sister, Kathleen Letts; her brother, Robert (Kathy) Peck; eight children and their spouses: Ronnie and Pearl Henke, Robert and Carolyn Henke, Shirley Bobolz, Sharon and Tim Kenan, Connie and Don Wilson, Julie and Roger Ashbaugh, Janice and Dennis Wieland, and Linda and Les Pedersen, all of the Cherokee area. She was blessed with twenty-seven grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, forty-seven great grandchildren, and twenty-two step great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews. They are left to carry on her lessons of hard work and her examples of love and care of family. They all will, indeed, miss her blessings.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 20, 2017, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee with Father Dan Guenther officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday afternoon, with the family present from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, at the funeral home.

CASKET BEARERS: Brad Ebert, Dave Kenan, Gary Bobolz, Kyle Bobolz, Peter Cosgrove, Landon Pedersen, John Wilson, Andrew Wilson.

MUSIC: Organist: Charlotte Groves; Vocalists: I.C. Funeral Choir.

INTERMENT: Maryhill Visitation Cemetery, Rural Cherokee, Iowa.

The Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home, Cherokee, Iowa 2017.


Buena Vista Obituaries maintained by Paul Nagy.
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