Rex Leland Henningsen was born in Limestone Township in Jewell County, northwest of Ionia on April 29, 1928. He was the fifth child of Emit and Elva (Conger) Henningsen. He died Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems, at the age of 94.
Rex later moved and lived most of his childhood on a farm north of Ionia. He attended grade school one half-mile from his home at Center School. He graduated from Ionia High School in 1947 and lived with his dad on the family farm. On July 26, 1953 Rex was married to Janice Menhusen. They lived on the family farm near Ionia until moving into town in 1964.
Rex and Janice had three children, Cindy, Clay and Russ. Rex did some farming and also worked many years as a school bus driver for Esbon schools and Jewell schools. Rex worked at the Mankato sale barn and for the Jewell County Weed Department and also ran a maintainer. Rex loved family. Last Father’s Day he was asked at the nursing home - “what was his BEST JOY of being a father?” – His answer was - “having the family around”. Rex and Janice made many fun memories with their kids – taking in the Kansas State Fair every year, horse shows, 4H club, trail rides, ball games, camping, and yearly vacations to Colorado to his sister’s ranch. Rex also enjoyed horses. He spent many hours raising them, breaking horses for other people, and going to horse sales. Being a grandpa was a special thing for Rex. He enjoyed having the grandkids come visit and they created many memories with their grandparents. He was proud of each and every one of them and never failed to ask about them and kept up with them all of his life. The great grandkids were also very special to him. He didn’t get to spend as much time with them – but they would visit him and he always remembered that.
Rex was a member of the Ionia United Methodist Church where he served on several committees. It was his “chore” to go early on Sunday mornings and start all the furnaces every winter. He was an active member of the Gideon’s International, sharing his testimony regularly with others. Rex spent his last years living at the Residential Care Center in Beloit, KS. They became his extended family.
Rex is survived by his children Cindy (Von) Taylor, Beloit KS; Clay (Teri) Henningsen, Louisburg, KS; Russ (Sandra) Henningsen, Hays, KS. Grandchildren Levi (Julie) Taylor, Salina, KS; Cole (Ashley) Taylor, Osborne KS; Todd (Gloria) Henningsen, Mission, TX; Casey (Tracy) Konda, Louisburg, KS; Trevor (Kayla) Henningsen, Garden City, KS; Trenton (Madison) Henningsen, Hays, KS, 12 great-grandchildren, Brother-in-law Harold (Judy) Menhusen, Lincoln, NE; Sister-in-law Diane Simmelink, Salina KS, Nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janice, his parents, two brothers Rollo (Fontell) Henningsen and Dale (Fern) Henningsen and two sisters, Pauline (Eldon) Menhusen and Dorothy (Jennings) Borger and brother-in-law Edwin Simmelink.
Visitation was Sunday November 13, 2022 from 1:00pm – 7:00pm with the family present from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at Kleppinger Funeral Home, Jewell, KS.
Funeral Services were Monday November 14, 2022 at 10:00am at the Ionia United Methodist Church, Ionia, KS.
Burial followed at the Ionia Cemetery, Ionia, KS.
Memorials are to the Ionia United Methodist Church or Gideon’s International.
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