Cover photo for Michael A. Henning's Obituary
Michael A. Henning Profile Photo
1955 Michael 2020

Michael A. Henning

August 18, 1955 — June 10, 2020

     Michael Henning, age 64, of rural Scranton died at his home on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.  A Masonic Graveside Service will be held Friday, June 26, 2020 at 2:00PM at Willow Township Cemetery northwest of Bayard.  *** Please follow Covid 19 regulations and keep a 6" distance between people and wear a face mask ***

     Michael’s story begian over the German/Austria border in a B-17 piloted by Captain Albert C. Henning, in World War II. In the process of a bombing run with the 459th squadron, the “Texarkana Hussy", his plane named for his wife Jane, was shot down.  After bailing out and surviving the explosion, he was captured and transported through Frankfort, Germany. While at the train station, a group of German civilians became aware of the situation and were prepared to hang both Albert and the pilot he was carrying on the spot.  A German solder grabbed him and the man he was carrying and threw them both into a locked box car headed to prison camp, saving his life.  After 17 months in a POW camp, Albert returned home but he never forgot what the German soldier had done for him.

     Following the war, Albert continued in the US Air Force and was reassigned to France in the middle 50’s.  At that time, he and wife Jane Henning adopted Michael, a German orphan born August 18, 1955. Michael was so proud of his father and mother. May they rest in peace.

     Mike graduated from Bayard High School with the class of 1973. He considered his classmates his lifelong friends. No one will ever forget Mike’s impressions which he loved to share, making people laugh. He could imitate anyone but was especially known for John Wayne, Jack Benny, Harry Morgan and a host of others. His sound effects of a Kawasaki motorcycle hitting a brick wall were legendary, always bringing a smile to his classmates.  His life plans were to be a cattle farmer but a serious car accident changed those intentions. He rented out his farm ground to Jerry Peckumn and reluctantly sold his cattle. He became a volunteer at Thomas Rest Haven and for other organizations. Mike worked for a short time at Thomas Rest Haven. He was a dedicated volunteer there, spending many hours with the residents. He called BINGO and enjoyed awarding prizes. Mike helped residents by taking them shopping and to church. Most of all, he visited with them and listened to their stories. He loved to sing the great Frank Sinatra tunes to entertain the residents and staff.  He had a beautiful singing voice.  Mike received his third degree of Masonry in Coon Rapids Charity Lodge #197 in 1989 and served the Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1996, 2001 and 2002.  He continued to be an active Mason in Signet Lodge #264 in Carroll when the Coon Rapids lodge was discontinued. He was also a Shriner and a Scottish Rite Mason.

     Mike was fondly known as “the onion man”. He delighted in selling bags of sweet Vidalia onions each spring to benefit the Shriners. It gave him the opportunity to talk with his friends and customers, and Mike loved to talk. This year it was a challenge for him to deliver more than 100 bags of onions but with perseverance and the help of friends, every bag was delivered.

     Mike was a collector of many items but especially John Wayne memorabilia, CHiPS and other TV / movie items. He enjoyed classic vehicles, was proud owner of several used police vehicles, and “collected” motorcycles and vehicles like those he or his family had owned throughout the years.  

     While he was an only child without any close relatives following the death of his parents, Mike considered his numerous friends as his family, and his presence and good-nature will be missed forever.

      Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret "Jane" (McGaha) Henning, in 1986, his father Albert C. Henning, in 1996, and his grandmother LuLu Henning in 1997. He is survived by his Bates and Henning cousins; his farmer, Jerry Peckumn; his lifelong friends of the Bayard class of 1973; and so many special friends from Thomas Resthaven and the Masons and Shriners of Coon Rapids and Carroll.

     With special thanks to Kent and Kim Bates, for sharing Albert’s stories, to Luann Waldo and the class of 1973 for the memories; to the caregivers at McFarland Clinic in Carroll, who helped Michael deal with his many health challenges; and to Aunt Janette Henning Hostetler, who filled Michael’s cookie jar countless times over the years, providing not only sustenance but comfort and advice!    


Masonic Graveside Service

Friday, June 26, 2020 2:00 PM

Willow Township Cemetery

Northwest of Bayard, Iowa



Rev. William Crawford

Grandmaster of Iowa Masons


Willow Township Cemetery is located on 310th Street, two miles west of D avenue.     

 In case of rain, the family asks all guests to bring an umbrella. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael A. Henning, please visit our flower store.


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