John William Henning, 88, of Hartwick, passed away Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at his home due to kidney failure.
A funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 3, at Hrabak-Neuhaus Funeral Service, Belle Plaine, with Chaplain Joe Kane officiating. Visitation is from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home and will continue one hour prior to the service on Monday. Burial will take place in Our Silent City Cemetery, Kellogg.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the John Wm. Henning Memorial Fund.
Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.hrabakfuneralhome.com.
John was born Feb. 8, 1929, at home on the family farm in Kellogg, Iowa, the son of Roy and Samantha Davis Henning. He grew up on the family farm and attended school in Kellogg. Years later part of the family farm was sold to the state and became Rock Creek State Park. As a young man, he participated in 4-H, showing champion class beef.
On March 30, 1946, he married Myrtle L. Cunningham in Kellogg. In 1951, they moved to a farm in the Hartwick area, later purchasing it. John spent his life farming and feeding and buying cattle. He had a love for his family, the land, and the outdoors.
He originated the Southeast Iowa Retriever Club. He enjoyed training dogs, field trial competition and hunting and was a guide for duck hunters. He was a well-known fast-pitch softball pitcher in the local area, enjoyed bowling and traveling. In recent years he enjoyed his toy tractor collection and trap shooting.
John held an active interest in the cattle industry. He always said, "You should support the industry that supports you." He was a licensed and bonded dealer for feeder cattle. He was an active member of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, holding several offices, including president in 1981 and 1982.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in accomplishing many important events for the cattle industry, including a trip with former Gov. Robert Ray to Japan for the U.S. Justice Department to abolish the import law that kept U.S. beef from going into Japan. John also helped implement the preconditioned calf program for the state of Iowa.
He was a member of the National Cattlemen's Association board of directors from 1978 to 1982. John was a consultant for the beef industry, giving many speeches and interviews to the public and news media, and hosting a farm tour for foreign delegations. He was also a beef judge for the county 4-H clubs.
He was a 21-year member of the Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department and held the position of regional director for Farm Credit Service for nine years.
Survivors include his wife, Myrtle, of 70 years of marriage, two days shy of their 71st anniversary; three daughters, Anita Bernsmeier (Vance) of Eagle Grove, Diana Koehn (Daniel) of Cedar Rapids and Kathryn Van Thournout (Charles) of Hartwick; a son, Jerry Henning (Patti) of Hartwick; 10 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one stepgreat-grandson; four great-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Robert Cooper; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert; sister-in-law, Donna Henning; a sister, Florence Cooper; and a great-granddaughter, Katie Nicole Koehn.