Juan Carlos Henkes
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Juan Carlos Henkes, known to family and friends as "Jack" went to be with our Lord in Heaven on Sunday March 14, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jack was born in Punta Arenas Chile on June 24th, 1938. At a very young age, he moved with his parents to the Patagonia region of Argentina, where his father Boudewyn Karel "Carlos" Henkes ran a farm with over 90,000 head of Corriedale sheep, while his mother Maria Henkes managed the household. The house was known as Bella Vista (beautiful view) situated just north of the Strait of Magellan along the Rio Gallegos River.
Jack's education included the British School of Punta Arenas, then on to Escuela Industrial for vocational education, and finally graduated as a Mechanical Engineer in 1959 from Universidad Tecnica del Estado in Santiago Chile.
Jack's first job was with Esso Standard Oil (now Exxon) as a Marketing Engineer then Sales Manager. His career shifted to mining when he began a job as Chief Mechanical Engineer at the Empresa Salitrera Victoria mine. His next employment was with the Chile Exploration Company in Chuquicamata (Chuqui), which at the time was the world's largest open pit mining operation. He worked as the machine shop foreman before being transferred to manage the locomotive maintenance then becoming the shovel and drill foreman. Following his time at Chuqui, he partnered a start up mine Compania Minera Exotica, then worked in Santiago for a steel foundry making parts for the mining industry and for the railroad.
In 1970 amidst the Chilean political turmoil, he moved his family to Madrid Spain. Employed by Bucyrus Erie, he spent 17 months in the Sahara Desert assembling mining equipment. He then moved his family to British Columbia (BC) Canada to work at a copper mining operation, then moved to Bathurst New Brunswick for employment at the Brunswick Mining and Smelting Co. where he coordinated 140 units of diesel-powered mining equipment.
Coal mining brought the Henkes family to the US where Jack became President of Glacial Minerals. Under Jack's leadership, the company grew to become one of the largest coal producers in Pennsylvania. His worldly travels finally took him back to Chile where he retired at the young age of 80.
Jack had an amazing life. Always at his side was the absolute love of his life, Marion Henkes. His final days were spent expressing how proud he was of his sons Martin, Roy, Colin, and Ian Henkes.
Jack is survived by his beautiful wife of 60 years, Marion James Henkes, his son Martin and loving wife Mary Henkes, by Roy and loving wife Lee Ann Henkes, By Colin and loving wife Amy Henkes, by Ian and loving wife Christine Henkes. He had six grandchildren Brandon, Nicholas, Brooke, Marcus, Evan and Annie, and a great granddaughter Skylar Grace. Jack was also blessed with loving nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren.
Jack's life had a profound influence on many. He will be loved and greatly missed by all.
Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021 at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, in Katy, with Rev. Tom Lam, Celebrant. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021 at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery.
To express condolences, visit www.SchmidtFuneralHome.net.