Herrin- Richard Francis ‘Dick’ Henley, 88, passed away peacefully with family at his side in Clarksville, TN; Friday September 20, 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in West Frankfort, IL, May 29, 1931 to John Henry ‘Harry’ Henley and Julia Josephine Henley (nee Marlow), Dick was raised from the age of 10 by his mother, Julia in Herrin, IL.
Dick attended grammar school at OLMC in Herrin, IL and Herrin High School, the class of 1949. Dick was a standout high school athlete in basketball, baseball and track at Herrin Township High School, and is a member of the Herrin Tigers Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002. He went on to play varsity basketball for the Salukis at SIU Carbondale during the 1951-52 seasons.
Dick met his future wife, Nancy (nee Howerton) in 1952, and married shortly before military duty called him to Fort Smith, Arkansas. A two-year military role ended in 1954, when Dick and Nancy located to Carterville, IL with daughter Ramona, with Dick teaching and coaching basketball at Carterville Junior High School. Dick’s career soon found its way into the Herrin, IL school system, where he held many roles and administrative positions over the years; as sixth grade teacher at Herrin South Side School, Principal at Energy Grade School, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Herrin High School, and Principal at Herrin Elementary and Junior High. During this time Dick also became recognized for his basketball officiating career which spanned many years, culminating with officiating the IHSA basketball state finals for the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons, as he is a member of the IHSA Sports Hall of Fame for officials, inducted in 1985.
Dick was also a businessman, with Egypt Trophy and Premium Company in Herrin, IL, which he co-owned for many years. An avid golfer and sports enthusiast throughout his life, his love of sports, and more importantly, the camaraderie with others brought lifelong friendships and joy with his involvement in and around the sports world in the area. In 2009, Dick was the recipient of The HerrinFesta committee’s honorary Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding leadership in the Herrin community. A lifetime member of The American Legion, Elks, Knights of Columbus, The SIU Alumni Association, The SIU Letterman’s Club, Herrin Rotary, and The Herrin Chamber of Commerce.
Dick was a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic parish in Herrin, IL.
Surviving family includes wife Nancy in Clarksville, TN and daughter Ramona Alexander (Charles) of Clarksville, TN. Grand-daughters Jennifer Alford (Danny) of Clarksville, TN with two great-grandchildren and Kristin Hill (Justin) of Bozeman, MT with two great-grandchildren. Son Bruce (Elisa) of Naperville, IL with grandson Daniel and step-grandson Derrick Martens (Stephanie) with one step great-grandson. His sister Joan Langanke (Dale) of North Canton, OH; and many cousins and extended family.
A funeral mass will be held at 11am on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Herrin. Monsignor Ken Schaefer will officiate. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion. A time of visitation will be held from 5-8pm on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin and also one hour prior to the mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to OLMC school education/building fund. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home; 201 S. 13th Street; Herrin, IL 62948.