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1939 Harlan 2024

Harlan James Henke

February 18, 1939 — January 2, 2024


Harlan James Henke, beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away on Tuesday January 2, 2023, at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD. He was born on February 18, 1939, in Hutchinson County. Harlan will always be remembered for his dedication to his work and his kindhearted nature.

A Visitation will be held this Friday, January 5, 2024 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Vermillion, SD from 5:00-7:00PM, concluding with a prayer service at 7:00PM. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, January 6, 2024 beginning at 10:00AM.

Harlan began his career as a mechanic at a car dealership before venturing into the world of Electro magic, where he specialized in making pressure washers. Later, he worked in shipping and receiving for Aaladin. In the 90s, he gained recognition as "Hardware Hank". Harlan dedicated much of his life to his work, always striving to do the best job possible.

Harlan attended a one-room schoolhouse in Davis, SD during his early years. After completing high school at Centerville High School in 1957, Harlan went on to further his education at Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD.

Outside of work and education, Harlan had a deep passion for lighthouses. He not only enjoyed collecting lighthouse-themed items but also had the opportunity to appreciate them up close. In fact, he even climbed the Hunting Island Lighthouse in South Carolina. This passion for lighthouses showcased Harlan's adventurous spirit.

Harlan was known to be soft-spoken but possessed an unwavering determination and work ethic that earned him respect from those around him. Colleagues and friends remember him as someone who would go above and beyond to lend a helping hand when needed. His hardworking nature and kindheartedness left an indelible mark on all who knew him.

In his leisure time, Harlan found solace in various hobbies and interests. He had a keen interest in model trains and enjoyed collecting them as part of his extensive collection. Additionally, Harlan was an active bowler and participated in a bowling league. He bowled his entire life, always enjoying the camaraderie and competition on the lanes. Even when circumstances prevented him from continuing, his love for bowling remained strong.

Harlan leaves behind a cherished legacy through his children; Christine Henke of Centerville, SD, and David (Mikal) Henke of Vermillion, SD. Grandchildren: Casey (Johanna) Henke, Kai Henke, Trey Henke, Patricia Carlough, Shannon Carlough and Layfe. Furthermore, he had the joy of being a great-grandfather to Lilleigh, Xeraya, Minerva, and Frances.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Cynthia; parents, Charles and Ida (DeBelts) Henke, Brother, Calmer Henke; and his son, Charles Henke.

Harlan James Henke will forever be missed but never forgotten. His dedication to his work, love for lighthouses, passion for bowling and model trains will continue to inspire those who knew him. May he rest in peace as we celebrate a life well-lived and remember the memories, we had with him.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Harlan James Henke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 5, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Friday, January 5, 2024

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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