Howard B. Hensley
March 29, 1939 – December 25, 2019
Howard Bruce Hensley, age 80, passed away on December 25, 2019. He was born March 29, 1939 to Howard V. and Evelyn Hensley in Beech Grove, Indiana. Howard was a beloved husband to Iris Hensley and to the late Margaret “Gerry” Geraldine Hensley. Howard was the loving father of Sue Hensley Robusto and husband John and Sheila Owens and husband Kristopher, and stepfather to Amanda Spence and husband Paul and Alicia Schmidt and husband Jeff, and the cherished grandfather of Michael, Grace, David, Lindsay, Paige, Dylan, Jacob, Rebecca, Brandon, Cameron and Allison. Howard was a dear brother to Sandra Rousseau and husband Tom, the late Harry Hensley and to sister-in-law Sharon Hensley. He was a fond uncle and friend to many.
Howard was a man of many talents and deep kindness, which he imparted to others throughout his life. He was accomplished professionally, with a degree in industrial engineering, and an MBA from Indiana University. He spent much of his professional career creating and implementing advanced computer technology systems for industrial applications in companies throughout North America. He served as an Army officer during Vietnam. He had a strong faith, loved his family, and was a gracious and generous friend and neighbor.
Howard was an Eagle Scout with three palms, and went on to achieve the highest rank in Venturing as well. Howard used the skills he gained as a youth and young adult in scouting, and applied them throughout his life. He was always prepared, tried to do a good turn daily, and valued integrity, honesty and fairness.
Howard was a patriot. He was disciplined and hardworking. He also had an encyclopedic knowledge of everything from antique cars to geography to electronics. He could build just about anything. He built a four-car garage and a large patio onto the house in Palatine where he raised his family. He loved working on antique cars, one of which he restored with his brother while they were growing up. He knew every detail about his Auburns and Fords. He was an excellent gardener, and used his talent in landscape architecture to create a beautiful backyard in Palatine. Howard also enjoyed travel, and planned extensive family vacations to nearly every major national park over many years. Howard had a great affection for his hometown of Indianapolis, and loved the decades-long tradition of attending the Indy 500 annually with family members and friends. He had an incredible knowledge of all aspects of the race – the cars, crew, track – and could teach a newcomer all about the race. You could ask him anything and he could explain it. Howard deeply valued the entire Hensley extended family. He loved attending family reunions, and enjoyed the family interaction. He continued the genealogy work done by his mother, and assisted his children in becoming Daughters of the American Revolution. He was a knowledgeable source of family history and valued the farm-based roots he inherited from the Hensley family (his father grew up on the Hensley farm in Southport, Indiana). His move to Union, Illinois in his retirement years gave him the opportunity to live in a farming community. Howard was a Christian, and was active in his faith. He served as an elder at the Palatine Presbyterian Church, and was active in that church community for more than thirty years before joining St. John’s Lutheran church community in Union, which he valued greatly. Howard was a proud member of the “Liar’s Club,” where he gathered with his good friends regularly during the last several years in Union, and was an active member of the NEITTC Tractor Club, and the CAATS Car Club. Howard loved his family, and they will miss him dearly. Visitation will be held Saturday, January 4, 2020 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 6821 Main Street in Union, IL from 9 a.m. until the funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be at Washington Park East Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana at 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 5, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250 or to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Union. For information about the service, contact Marengo-Union Funeral Home at (815) 568-8131. To leave a memorial message, go to www.marengo-unionfuneralhome.com.
- Howard V. Hensley, Father (deceased)
- Evelyn Hensley, Mother (deceased)
- Iris Hensley, Wife
- Margaret "Gerry" Garaldine Hensley, Wife (deceased)
- Sue Hensley Robusto (John), Daughter
- Sheila Owens (Kristopher), Daughter
- Amanda Spence (Paul), Step-Daughter
- Alicia Schmidt (Jeff), Step-Daughter
- Michael, Grace, David, Lindsay, Paige, Dylan, Jacob, Rebecca, Brandon, Cameron, and Allison, Grandchildren
- Sandra Rousseau (Tom), Sister
- Harry Hensley, Brother (deceased)
- Sharon Hensley, Sister-in-law
- Fond uncle and friend to many.
- Visitation Saturday, January 4, 2020
- Funeral Service Saturday, January 4, 2020
Howard B. Hensley
January 10, 2020
We met Howard at The Presbyterian Church of Palatine through our common faith in Christ. Howard learned about our older son's love of trains and invited our family to spend a day at their newly built home and just spent the day with us. He took us to the Illinois Railway Museum and treated us to a ride on the original Ford T- model to and from the IRM. What a treat!
A memory our whole family treasures.
What a role model especially for boys.
In this day who does that for people who don't look like you.
We were blessed by his life, well lived in all aspects of the faith we shared.
We thank God for Howard 🙏