Joseph J. Henchir

August 3, 1920June 9, 2018

Joseph Henchir, of Gladstone Missouri, passed away at home on June 9, 2018 after a brief illness, surrounded by his family. He was 97 years old. Surviving children are Thomas Henchir of Racine, Wisconsin, Robert Henchir of Plum, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Balester, of Gladstone Missouri, who served as his caregiver for the past six years. He leaves behind eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

He was born on August 3, 1920 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he spent most of his life. As a child he worked in his father’s bakery with his siblings, but the business went bankrupt during the Great Depression. For a while, his home was an orphanage when his mother went into a sanatorium for tuberculosis. At the age of twenty-three, he was drafted into the army as an infantryman and fought in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany, helping millions of other men and women defeat the Nazis. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious achievement in a combat zone. Joe returned to the States in 1946, married and went to work for US Steel.

He was a modest man, not given to bragging. He liked a good joke and a good meal. Although he drove a car, he never actually learned to drive, and it showed. While serving in the military, he was given a driver’s license and a buddy showed him how to shift gears and use the pedals. That was the extend of his lessons. When he returned to the states, he simply showed his military driver’s license to the man at the DMV, and they cheerfully gave him a Pennsylvania license. You could get things done like that in the old days. It was a simpler time.

He loved dancing and continued to cut the rug until the age of 95. He was a big fan of the famous 1920s flapper Betty Boop, and claimed that at one point the two dated for a while. Considering his age, it’s entirely possible. He enjoyed going to the Shepherd’s Center on Antioch Road in Kansas City for their senior citizen functions, Laughter and Learn. He leaves us now for a better world. Rest In Peace. Veteran, husband, beloved father and grandfather. See you soon.

Funeral service is 7:00 PM Tuesday, June 12th, with visitation beginning at 5:30 PM, both at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO. Burial will be in Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA. Contributions are suggested to the Shepherd Center of the Northland.

Arr.’s: McGilley Antioch Chapel, 3325 NE Vivion Rd, Kansas City, MO 64119;


  • Thomas Henchir of Racine, Wisconsin, Son
  • Robert Henchir of Plum, Pennsylvania, Son
  • Virginia Balester of Gladstone, Missouri, Daughter
  • Eight grandchildren and Eleven great-grandchildren

  • Shepherd Center of the Northland


  • Visitation Tuesday, June 12, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Joseph J. Henchir

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sandy Granberg

June 13, 2018

Hi Gin,
What a GREAT picture of your Dad. Do you remember the day I brought Russ to a square dance? We weren't even married yet. Russ knew I had a date already but the date we set up for him didn't show! Your Mom laughed and laughed. Russ sat with Fanny while your Dad "Dosey-Do"ed me within the square? LOL You both loved to square dance and your Mom loved to watch because of the love she had for him.

I LOVED your Dad. I loved him (and you for that matter) enough to dress up like Betty Boop. I did such a good job, your Dad didn't recognize me.

All three of his ladies have a room in the house for him and them. Remember, If heaven starts rockin'...well, you fill in the rest. HA HA HA

I love you, Pat, Gemma and the rest. I'm sending hugs 2000 miles. Sandy and Russ Granberg

RoseMarie Dorrbecker

June 12, 2018

Dear Ginny,
What a wonderful, and courageous man your father was. He must have been the life of the party in his day -- and loved my all those who came to know him. The world is a better place for having known his fun-loving spirit and joy in living. My profound sympathy on the loss of such a beautiful soul - and may the Lord God bless Joseph as he journeys to heaven.

Peace to you and your family,