Long-time Chadron resident and strong community supporter Jean M. Henkens passed away Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 at Ponderosa Villa in Crawford. She was 100 years old.
Funeral Services for Jean Henkens will be held at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 24, 2020. A visitation will be held on Monday, November 23, 2020 at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron, Nebraska from 5:00-7:00 PM. At the request of the family and minister masks will be required at the services.
Jean was born January 29, 1920 at Burwell, Nebraska, to Kent and Sue Van Horn. Her father died when she was 13 years old. She was raised by her mother Sue and stepfather Edward Gass in Martin, SD.
She earned her teaching degree at Chadron State College in 1941 and taught school at Mitchell, Neb., Canton, SD and Las Vegas, Nev. She married Pete Henkens of Chadron in 1945. She went to work at the Henkens family’s implement business in 1949, sharing in its management with Pete and his brother Earl. Her involvement lasted 40 years before the firm, now Butler Ag Equipment east of town, was sold.
In 1950, Pete and Jean adopted their daughter Linda Sue from Nebraska Children’s Home, and she became the center of their lives.
Jean was active in the Grace Episcopal Church, BPO Does, and American Legion Auxiliary. She held local, state, and national office in the American Legion Auxiliary, and volunteered many hours at the Hot Springs Veterans Hospital.
During an interview in 2007, Jean said she has attended at least 35 national American Legion conventions, allowing her to visit nearly every major city in the United States.
She always loved and supported Chadron State College, and attended many home football games through the years. She was among the last presidents of the Survivors, a CSC alumni group made up of students who had survived the Great Depression and World War II.
Through the years, she and Pete were inducted into the Dawes County Agricultural Hall of Fame, and she received the Ak-Sar-Ben Good Neighbor Award and the Magic Key and Landmark awards given by the Chadron Chamber of Commerce for her support and involvement in the community.
Jean is survived by her daughter Linda and son-in-law Jim Aspden of Wylie, Texas, grandchildren Tony (Jena) and Scott (Brandi) Aspden; great-grandchildren Aaron, Skylar, Chase and Dylan; and nephews Bill (Karen) and Wayne (Susan) Hicks.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Pete and sister Virginia Bohm.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses at Prairie Pines Lodge and Ponderosa Villa Nursing Home for the love and care they gave her.
Memorials have been established for the Grace Episcopal Church and the Chadron Post 12 American Legion Auxiliary. Donations can be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Online condolences can be made at www.chamberlainchapel.com
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean M Henkens, please visit our floral store.