In Memory of

Cletus Henke

December 9, 1926 - June 4, 2019
From: Cherokee, IA

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.

Tribute Video
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee, Iowa.
Monsignor Kenneth Seifried
Father Gene Sitzmann
Brandon Lucas
Nate Patterson
Lee Henke
Brent Henke
Tyler Langel
Amos Lang
Rick Willenbring
Public visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. Friday, with the family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Friday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. A prayer service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Organist- Charlotte Groves
Vocalists- I.C. Funeral Choir
Mt. Calvary Cemetery
Cherokee, Iowa


Friday, June 21, 2019 at 12:07 PM
“I met Cletus about 20 years ago when he brought his Magic Show to our Middle School Carnival in LeMars. He performed that for us for at least 15 years bringing Phyllis with him until her death. I remember Cletus as a kind and thoughtful man whose show was always a hit at the carnival. I would see him once a year but always looked forward to talking to him on that occasion. My belated sympathy to the family of a very good man. ”
- Mark Vonnahme
Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 11:36 AM
“Henke family - So sorry to hear about Cletus. His Magic was enjoyed and will be remembered by a countless number of people. I know many enjoyed his company at the Gardens. June commented she kept a watchful eye on those 'magical hands' during those domino games! :) Thoughts and prayers to the family for peace. ”
- Jim & Brenda Perrin
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 10:29 AM
“Rest in Peace my friend. I will miss you and always cherish running into you at Maryhill and bothering you at work at JCP.”
- Karen Gravenish
Monday, June 10, 2019 at 9:57 AM
“Deepest sympathy to all of your family. Cletus will be missed and remembered by so many people, including my sister Lisa and I who were so amazed by his magic shows every year at the fair.”
- Linda and Duane Christensen
Monday, June 10, 2019 at 9:57 AM
“So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. What a wonderful man. Prayers .”
- Jerry and Vicki Menke
Monday, June 10, 2019 at 9:57 AM
“Annie and family...I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I remember how excited we were as little kids to watch him perform his magic! I will always remember his smile. : ) Thinking of you all!”
- Jean McKinney
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM
“So sorry to hear of Cletus passing always such a kind man and fun magician. He entertained many folks . When he came into my office he was always enjoyable to visit with and when his wife passed he missed her so. Find comfort that they are reunited in heaven . God bless and so sorry for your loss.”
- Peggy Hinkhouse
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. So enjoyed Cletus from seeing him at the Gardens, Sports Rehab or just out in the community. Such an amazing guy who also was so good to my grandparents, Bill and Evalyn Pease at the Gardens years ago. God's Blessing to you all”
- Jamie and Karmen Hodgdon
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 10:04 AM
“A Great Man has gone to be with the Lord and he will be missed dearly . My thoughts and prayers are with the family . I will never forget Cletus at all he will always be in my heart and memories . R.I.P. Cletus your a beautiful Angel now .”
- Amy Strahmann Booher
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 10:04 AM
“On behalf of the Sioux City Magic Club, I am so sorry to hear that Cletus is gone. He was such an important part of our club, always encouraging to young magicians, sharing his years of experience at making people happy with his performances. Several of us were happy to spend a little time with Cletus when we did a magic show at the nursing home. Cletus was beaming during the entire performance. I know he's now enjoying time with Phyllis. Our condolences to his family. Sorry I can't be at the services.”
- Dave Madsen
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 1:42 PM
“Our deepest condolences..... our thoughts and prayers are with Ann and Dale and their families. Your Dad will be truly missed. Always loved to chat with him. ”
- Paula Smith
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 1:42 PM
“I remember going out to the Henke farm for magic club meetings throughout my childhood and youth. I remember when his children got their first metamorphosis trunk and were practicing diligently for its presentation. Cletus was very instrumental in the shaping of who I became. My life is richer because I crossed paths with Cletus, and he took time for me. ”
- Dave Arch
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 1:42 PM
“RIP My dear friend You are at peace now and with the loves of your earthly family. Gonna miss visiting you!”
- Lauren Bakker
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