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Robert W. Henningsen (1931-2018)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 2/17/2018 at 19:12:18

Obituary for Robert W. Henningsen
Robert W. Henningsen, 86, of Preston Iowa, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 15, 2018 surrounded by his family. A Funeral Mass will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 19, 2018 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Preston. Burial will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Preston. Visitation will be Sunday February 18, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. All memorials will be donated to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Preston Fire Department, Preston Ambulance Service, and the Shriner's Hospital. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.

Robert was born October 7, 1931, in Preston, the son of Bert and Katie (Trenkamp) Henningsen. Robert spent much of his childhood riding with his father Bert hauling cattle. At age 11, Robert received his first ticket while driving his dad's semi. At age 14 he drove his first semi load of cattle alone to the Chicago Stockyards. For years, he made countless trips to Chicago. Many of the trips were triple-headers (back to back to back). Upon graduation of high school, Robert drove truck for his father. On one of his trips in 1961, the semi he was driving was struck by a train while entering the Stone Gate at the Chicago Stockyards. He was uninjured. In 1967 Robert and his brother Hans bought their father's trucking company to form Henningsen Brothers Trucking. In 1970 Robert purchased the Oscar Meyer Buying Station in Preston and renamed it Preston Order Buyers. Whenever his many friends and customers would come to the buying station, the kids were always given bubble gum and the adults were offered their choice of whiskey or peppermint. Robert worked hard and enjoyed every day of running his businesses and retired at the age of 77.

Robert graduated from Preston High School Class of 1950. He was a four-year member of the men's baseball and basketball teams. Robert led the basketball team to two consecutive Jackson County Championships and a first place finish in the Jackson County Conference Tournament. He received honorable mention on the All-State Team his Junior and Senior years. While in high school, if a bus driver was needed, the principal would get Robert out of class to drive the school bus. He would many times get out of school, drive a load of cattle to Chicago, and return in time for class the next morning.

On September 6, 1952, Robert married Phyllis Meyer. They had three children - Gail, David and Daniel.

Robert enjoyed many hobbies that included playing poker, fishing, boating, camping, hunting, going on trail-rides, golfing, and often visiting the area bars and pubs. His many travels included trips to Alaska, California to visit his Henningsen cousins, Yellowstone, Washington D.C to see his sister Pat, visiting his brother Jim and sister Donna, and Oklahoma to visit his son David and family. In his later years, Robert often took his dog, Buddy, for long walks on the Preston Bike Trail.

Robert was a very kind, giving, and generous person. He frequently visited friends in nursing homes and hospitals and attended pancake breakfasts and benefits. He was always there to help people in need.

He was a member of the Preston Fire Department, the Preston Saddle Club, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Preston, and a past Preston City Councilman.

Robert is survived by his children - Gail (James) Feller of Preston, David (Wendy) Henningsen of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Daniel (Kelly) Henningsen of Preston; grandchildren - Jason (Casey) Feller, Valerie (Brad) Boeckenstedt, Derek Feller (Kaitlyn Carpenter), Jacob Henningsen, Brooke (Adrian) Cook, Brittney (Mitch) Stephens, Gena Henningsen, Emily Henningsen, and Zach Henningsen; great-grandchildren - Brady Griebel, Payton Griebel, Jaxon Feller, Isabelle Cook, Gavin Stephens, and Gabriel Stephens. He is also survived by five brothers and sisters – Donna Senecal of Kansas, Elaine (Gerald) Smithson of Preston, Jack “Hans” (Judy) Henningsen of Preston, Patricia (Dick) Overton of Virginia, and James Henningsen of Florida. Robert was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Tom Senecal.

Robert's children would like to thank Mill Valley Nursing Home, Eagle Point Skilled Care, Big Meadows Nursing Home, and the physicians and nurses at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa for the care that was given to their dad.

Robert enjoyed a long and healthy life, and lived every day to its fullest. One of the last things he said was, “I have had a good life – I pretty much did whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it.” Above all else, he loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Jackson Obituaries maintained by Constance Diamond.
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