Frank Martin Henn, 91, Oneida, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, following a brief illness.
Frank was born to Joseph and Mary (Stich) Henn/Storzer on December 18, 1930. One of seven children, he was raised on a farm in rural Oneida. While standing up for a wedding he met a beautiful young bridesmaid, Joann Busch. They were married on April 14, 1951, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pulaski. Frank joined the Coast Guard during the Korean War. He was a 2nd Class Petty Officer – Damage Controlman. He was very proud of the time he spent on his ship, the Rockaway, in the Pacific Ocean near Guam and Pearl Harbor. Although he was prepared to do water rescues for downed airplanes, he spent much of his tour of duty fixing things.
Frank’s brother, Charlie, took over the family farm (which is still active with Charlie’s son, Jim) and Frank and Joann bought property less than a mile from the farm where they built a house and raised their family of seven children. Frank took a job at Fort Howard Paper Company (now Georgia Pacific). He started working at Fort Howard at the age of 19, where he became a machinist and spent most of his time fixing things. He retired in 2008 at the age of 78, a 59-year career.
An active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Oneida, Frank will be remembered for being an usher and a Eucharistic Minister. In his later years he also volunteered and brought Communion to residents at Anna John Nursing Home in Oneida.
Frank enjoyed jogging, shopping at second-hand stores and flea markets, playing the harmonica, studying German, playing softball, square dancing, volunteering for bingo at ASPIRO, investing in the stock market, reading the Wall Street Journal, woodworking and metalcraft but, most of all, he enjoyed working in his shed fixing things. Frank was a diehard Packers fan and season ticket holder, and he had a knack for writing simple, clever poetry. During high school he was badly injured, getting his leg stepped on by a cow, and never finished high school, but he was a smart man with a passion for learning and eventually went back to school and earned his GED. He learned how to make his own tools and, for a while, sold plans for them in Popular Mechanics magazine.
Ahead of his time as an environmentalist Frank never wasted anything, using whatever he had on hand to make parts or build things rather than buy new ones. He liked to own older cars so he could fix them himself. Some of his more special projects included making several curio cabinets, smaller replicas of an old spinning wheel, and a tin man out of old tin cans.
Frank was a gentleman. He was humble, kind, generous, and never complained. He frequently talked about how lucky he was and how grateful he was for everyone and everything in his life. His response to being complimented on these characteristics was always, “I’m just one hell of a guy.” He had a great sense of humor.
Frank was a caregiver first of all for his two youngest children, Billy and Julie, born with a genetic condition which caused severe disabilities and later, for his wife Joann, whom he lovingly cared for at home during her final years as she needed care due to Alzheimer’s. Joann preceded him in death on January 30, 2015. They were married for 63 years.
Frank is survived by his children and their spouses: Linda Blohowiak, Pulaski, Bob Henn, Little Suamico, Diane Henn, Colorado Springs, CO, Patti Henn (Randy Moore), New Orleans, LA, Lori Henn (Sam Chehade), Madison, and Julie Henn, Madison; five grandchildren: JoAnn, Jackie, Jill, Kimberly, and Martin; five great grandchildren: Solomon, Catherine, Cazadora, Juna, and Sayana; his sister, Theresa Paulson and brother, Donald Storzer; one sister-in-law, Lucy Busch; a special aunt, Margie Busch, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Joann; one son, Billy Henn; his parents; sisters: Ann Stascak and Marlene Hansen; brothers: Charlie Henn and Gerald Storzer; and son-in-law, Mike Blohowiak.
Friends are invited to gather with the family at St. Joseph Parish, 145 St. Joseph St., Hobart, on Monday, March 28, from 4-7 p.m. with a parish wake service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Tuesday, from 10-11 a.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. with Fr. Paul Paider presiding. Military honors will follow at the church. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Oneida.
The family wishes to thank Unity Hospice; neighbors and fellow church members from St. Joseph’s Church who checked in on Frank, bringing treats or Communion, and especially the privately-hired caregivers who made it possible for Frank to live his final years at his home in Oneida.