Richard Eugene Henricks

Richard Eugene Henricks

Yes, it is a surprise. Richard Eugene Henricks, age 77 of Dubuque, Iowa, died of natural causes on June 3, 2020, instead of the result of a mishap in one of his many adventures. Rich, also known as Gene, was born on October 5, 1942 in Rockford, Illinois.

His parents, Francis B. Henricks, and Virginia (Campobello) Henricks were stunned when he didn’t emerge with a cry at the hospital, but a grin and the declaration, “Let the adventure begin!” And it sure did. After many audacious and intrepid youthful adventures, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine, 1st Marine Division in a variety of MOS capacities. His favorite station: Puerto Rico! His least favorite station: Viet Nam, where he was a forward observer.

Rich was a charter member of VietNow, which he helped establish in Rockford, Illinois.

Upon returning home he married Joan Florence Aamodt, and soon Rhonda, Penny, and Meaghan arrived to complete the family. When his marriage to Joan ended, Rich married Susan Garas on February 18, 1988 in Maui, Hawaii, and they had two daughters, Genevieve and Natalie.

Rich worked for Goss Printing in materials management for more than 35 years until the plant closed, and then he got his dream job– working at the Rock Island Arsenal. Although he continued holding true to his adventuresome nature, the Arsenal took this to a new level, and he was deployed to Iraq three times in 2004, 2006, and 2009. While there in 2009, he called Susan and said, “I’m possibly the only guy out here driving a HMMWV (Humvee) in the desert while collecting a Social Security check!”

Rich retired in 2014 and spent every day working with his dog Bowser to restore his cabin, located along the backwaters of the Mississippi. The small acreage and peaceful waters renewed his spirit on a daily basis. He was a hunter, fisherman, bicyclist (this year would have been 30 for RAGBRAI), sailor, hiker, runner, and Harley rider who believed it was taboo to be seen without his dog. But most of all, he was a storyteller.

Those of us who remain to exchange his stories are his wife Susan Henricks, Dubuque, IA; his daughters, Rhonda (Nick) Kovanda, Rockford, IL; Penny Smith, Rockford, IL; Meaghan Henricks, Rockton, IL; Genevieve Keyser (Jesse), Ballwin, MO; Natalie Henricks, Rockford, IL; siblings, John Henricks (Kathy) and their daughter Kristine and son John, Boyne City, MI; Robert (Gisela) and his daughters Rene and Steffania, Caldwell, TX; Ginger (Ross) Wehling, Caldwell, TX; and his grandchildren, Lola, Stella, Hannah, Louis, Eliljah, Theodore, Desmond, Otto, Katja and Gunnar.

Rich was preceded in death by his parents Francis and Virginia Henricks; his first grandson, Jayden; his former wife, Joan, and his niece Kelly Hardie.

To celebrate Rich’s life, family and friends may visit from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish scripture service held at 2:30 p.m. To honor Rich’s life, funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Monday, June 8, 2020, at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Trinity Church, 1701 Rhomberg Avenue, with Rev. Mark Kwenin officiating. In keeping with current guidelines, masks will be required at church and 6 foot social distancing practices should be followed. Burial will be in Scandinavian Cemetery, in Rockford, Illinois, at a later date following cremation.

Memorials can be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001, Attn. Richard Henricks Family, and they will be distributed between the Veterans Freedom Center in Dubuque as well as the American Legion Post 170 in Blairstown, IA.

Semper Fi

Special thanks to the Dubuque Police and Fire Departments – our heroes – and to the staff of MercyOne, particularly Paige.


View local florists here.


Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
June 7th, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Funeral service

Holy Trinity Catholic Church
1701 Rhomberg Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa
June 8th, 2020 at 10:00 AM

8 condolences for Richard Eugene Henricks
  1. Linda Kerr DalFratello says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. Susan and all the girls. To Bob, Jack and Ginger. What a wonderful tribute to Rich. This only touches a part of who Rich was. A true one of a kind character that many of us were blessed with knowing. It was always a pleasure to be in his company and share the time,and a beer. Many happy memories of times spent.

  2. Joyce L Rudicil says:

    Rhonda…Penny…Meaghan…and family…so sorry for your loss…my thoughts are with you at this difficult time..

  3. Cheryl and Jack Grieves says:

    Our sympathy to all of the family at this sad time, that came so unexpectedly. This family is an amazing and loving community whose spirit has been touched with grief. Our hearts and prayers go with you.

  4. Jim Fertig says:

    Meaghan, Rhonda, Penny and all, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad always impressed me with his willingness to literally go miles for you. Had I known he worked at both the Arsenal and Goss I would have taken the opportunity to compare notes as my father also worked both.
    I liked him and will miss him.

  5. Ray Whitney says:

    Susan – Rick was a rare breed, but you knew that. Never met anyone like him. Never expect to, again. Those who met and knew him were very lucky…well, some not so lucky (grin)

    “Heaven’s scenes” are better guarded than they’ve ever been.


    Semper Fi, Brother!!

  6. Daniel White says:

    On behalf of the Dubuque Marine Corps League, Semper Fi!.

  7. Brian Glover says:

    All of us in the Glover household feel the loss of our dear friend Rich, and share your loss.

    We met too few times, but in quite intense doses, visiting various homes and having fun times in England, which leaves us mourning the loss of a good friend and the opportunity to share more adventures in Europe.

    I well remember his skill with a gin & tonic!! (along with a very young Genevieve’s love of the “leftover” limes) as well as sharing his enthusiasm for boats, beer and the Mississippi.

    We can all recall a mild panic at his expense in security at O’Hare – wondering if the cordite from his hastily arranged and very enjoyable visit to the gun range just a few hours before would register with the security. (all clear – phew)

    He was also a devoted father – looking after toddlers Genevieve & Natalie single handed, whilst Susan took best man duties at our wedding in London.

    Rest in Peace my friend, and – in the words of Bob Hope (who lived a few miles from us in South London) THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

  8. Chuck says:

    My sincere sympathies to you and your family

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