Dec. 22, 2021
Mildred Weith Henke departed this life on Dec. 22, 2021 at 4:40 p.m., having reached the age of 92 years. A service celebrating Millie’s life will be on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4th and Oak Street, Chaska, with The Rev. Greg Snow and The Rev. Allen Holthus officiating. The visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the church. Burial will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Chaska.
Mildred (Millie) Henke, daughter of William and Wilhelmina (Albrecht) Weith, was born on Aug. 5, 1929, in Cedar Mills Township, Meeker County. She was baptized in the family farm home on Sept. 1, 1929, and was confirmed at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cedar Mills on May 3, 1942. Her confirmation verse was Psalm 37:4.
She received her diploma of elementary education from St. John’s Lutheran School in Meeker County on June 22, 1943. She graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1947 and attended St. Cloud State College, majoring in business. Millie was employed as a secretary by 3M Company in Hutchinson, and by the University of Minnesota Law School. On June 29, 1951, Millie was united in marriage to Eugene C. Henke at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson. Their marriage was blessed with three sons, William, Bradley, and Craig. Millie and Eugene lived in Hutchinson, where Eugene was employed as a pharmacist at Popp’s Rexall Drug Co. They moved to Chaska in 1968 where she and her husband owned and operated the Chaska Drug Co. until 1985. Upon leaving Hutchinson, Millie and Eugene joined St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chaska, where Millie served on the Board of Evangelism, taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible school. She joined the St. John’s Ladies Aid in 1968 where she served as secretary, Christian growth chairperson and president and was active in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. She was a member of the Chaska Federated Women’s Club and a long-time volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Millie showed her love for family and friends by cooking and baking. She always had a platter of holiday cookies, a casserole, a bowlful of hot soup, or a panful of Swedish meatballs at the ready. At family meals, she never sat down until she was sure everyone else had what they needed. Her cooking ability was matched by her business savvy, in addition to running the household, she was the force behind the bookkeeping for their drug store. For decades, she and Eugene kept up a regular pinochle club with close friends in Hutchinson and a bridge club with her Chaska friends. Together, Gene and Millie trekked across China, Russia, and the Middle East, exploring coastal Spain and staring in wonder at Alaskan glaciers. Later in life, she loved spoiling her grandkids. She was a grandmother extraordinaire, inseparable from Eugene and adored her family.
She is survived by her husband Eugene. They were married for 70 years. She is also survived by her three sons, Dr. William (Nancy) Henke of Detroit Lakes, Bradley Henke of Chaska, and Dr. Craig (Karen) Henke of Minneapolis; and four grandchildren, David, Lauren, Jacob and Joseph Henke; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.
Millie was preceded in death by her parents; sister Wilma Grams and brother-in-law Harold Grams of Hutchinson; brother-in-law Milburn Henke and sister-in-law Lola Henke of Hutchinson; sister-in-law Beverly Klawitter Tenneson of Fergus Falls; and nephew Gary Henke of Hutchinson.
At the request of family, due to the general increased Covid risk, full vaccination and masks are required and there will be no food served following the service for the protection of family and friends. Memorials to St. John’s Lutheran School, Chaska or St. John’s Ladies Aid, Chaska.
Funeral arrangements are with the Bertas Funeral Home in Chaska.