Cletus Henke, the son of Frank and Eva (Kohn) Henke was born December 9, 1926 at in Rock Township, Cherokee County, Iowa. His childhood years were spent on the farm in rural Cherokee where he attended school. At age 18, he was drafted into the Army Infantry and served two years during WWII as a technician fifth grade medical detachment. Following his honorable discharge, he returned home to farm with his father.
On September 29, 1953, Cletus was united in marriage to Phyllis Garvin. They made their home on the farm in rural Cherokee where they farmed and milked cows. Cletus was a member of the Maryhill Visitation Catholic Church and later Immaculate Conception. He belonged to A.M.P.I North Central Region where he was an elected official delegate and district director for many years. He also served six years as director of the Cherokee Rock Township and a trustee for 10 years.
Cletus started learning Magic in 1950, and it became a lifelong hobby. In 1951, he became a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and traveled all over with his magic shows. He would later receive both the 25 year and 50 year Order Merlin Excalibur award. Cletus also enjoyed traveling with his wife. They had been to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Panama Canal, Australia, New Zealand, Holy Land, Ireland, Norway, and Europe, just to name a few. Most of all, Cletus enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
On June 4, 2019, Cletus passed away at Cherokee Specialty Clinic in Cherokee at the age of 92. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis Henke in 2008; one son, David Henke in 1994; and siblings, Raymond Henke, Angela Dover, Richard Henke, and Delores Benson.
He will be lovingly remembered by his children: Dale and Dawn Henke of Cherokee, IA, along with their children and grandchildren, Brent (Carly) Henke of Centralia, MO and their children, Brecken, Paxton, and Lilli Ann; Lee Henke and his daughter Brelee Henke of Cherokee, IA; and Patty Henke (Tiegen Podliska) of Red Oak, IA; Lynda (Henke) and her husband Steve Best, and their children Wendi (Tyler) Langel of Bennington, NE, and their children, Anna, Maggie, William, Wyatt, and Emmett; Lindsay (Amos) Lange of Ord, NE, and their children, Stella and Elsie; Whitney (Rick) Willenbring of Oxford, IA and their children, Malia, Eva, and Levi; Abby (Joe) Rasmussen of Exira, IA and their children, Austin, Zoey, Skyla, Harper, Weston, and Calvin; Sara (Cord) McCoy of Lane, OK and their child, Tulsa; and Jodi Best (Garrett Wilson) of Brayton, IA; Ann (Mark) Lundell of Cherokee, IA, and their children, Sara (Brandon) Lucas of Cherokee, IA, and their children, Kai and Cord; Molly (Nate) Patterson of Cherokee, IA and their children, Mesa, Thomas, and Cole; one brother-in-law, George Garvin; five sisters-in-law, Velma Garvin, Ruth VanderHaag, Mary Brady, Cathy Garvin, and Jackie Letsche; as well as other relatives and many friends.