Kenneth L. Henkel, 80 years of Sturgeon Bay, formerly of Green Bay, passed away at Unity Hospice in DePere, Monday, October 10, 2022. Staying true to being “a stubborn German”, as he called himself, he lived 10 months after a “could pass at any moment” diagnosis. That was our dad.
Ken was born August 20, 1942, in Sturgeon Bay, the son of Leo and Antoinette (Brey) Henkel. He graduated from Abbot Pennings/St. Norbert High School before completing his course of education at Badger Business College. He worked in sales for AC Supply and Hewitt Transmission and also as a bartender for Paul’s Carriage Inn and Ivan’s in Green Bay. He grew up around the family businesses of farming and Henkel’s Ballroom in Institute, and worked in his parent’s popular bar and restaurant, Leo’s, in Sturgeon Bay. Ken was sincere, humble, and a thoughtful listener.
Ken was an altar boy, member of S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Institute, and later at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Green Bay.
Kenny personified hospitality. He loved being with family and friends and was known for a bit of hijinks and organizing group festivities of all kinds - spending days planning and cooking delicious food to serve and also creating fun spaces for card games, pool, and sports. Making the perfect booyah for church picnics was a passion of his along with driving luxury yachts, boating (US Power Squadron member), classic cars, founding the NABNB, working in the pit at Road America, and 50’s - 60’s music. His singing and dancing were epic!
Survivors include his two grateful children, Christine (Ross Dippel) Henkel (and their daughter, Isabella), and Steven (Susan) Henkel of West Bend (and their children, Spencer, and Saige), along with his first wife and friend, Mary Ann Resler Jorgensen. Preceding Ken in death were his parents, Leo and Antoinette Henkel, and his grandson, Zachary.
A Mass of Christian Burial at 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 21, 2022, at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Institute, with Fr. Robert Stegmann officiating. Burial will be next to his parents at the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Friday, October 21, 2022, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Henkel family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Ken may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.