August 7, 2020. Laurium
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Col. Henry “Hank” Peter Ilenich, a resident of Florida Street in Laurium passed away peacefully at his home with his wife by his side on Friday morning August 7, 2020.
He was born July 26, 1933 at the Calumet Public Hospital to John and Katherine (Kastelic) Ilenich. He was the first incubator baby.
Henry attended local schools including classes in a 2 room log cabin at Betsy River for 3 years where his mother was the teacher.
In high school Henry was a drum major for the band. He joined the National Guard in his senior year and graduated from Calumet High School in 1951.
After graduation Henry spent 2 years on boats where he became a wheeles man. He then volunteer/draft as a sergeant U. S. Army in 1954 and served in Korea at Pan Mun Jom for 2 years , this was the site of the peace talks.
Henry then went on to graduate from Northern Michigan University in 1958 with a degree in History which brought him back to Calumet as a teacher at Calumet High school for the next 36 years.
On June 24, 1961 he was united in marriage to the former Mary Richetta at the Sacred Heart Church in Calumet.
In 1967 Henry began serving as the Company Commander for the local National Guard 107th Engineers and was deployed during the Detroit Riots in 1968 for the Martin Luther King assasination and more until his retirement from the Michigan National Guard as a Full Col. in 1988.
Henry was a member of Sacred Heart Church and served as an usher. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus and VFW Post 3900 of Calumet.
Hank enjoyed spending Time at his camp in Big Traverse and woodworking in the shop. If he had any downtime you could find him with a sudoku book in his hands.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother John Ilenich and sister Mary Hrovatich.
Surviving are his wife Mary.
Daughter Karen Cimaglia of Cave Creek, AZ
Son Michael (Laura) Ilenich of Petosky, MI
Grandchildren: Katrina, Mark, Matthew and Michelle “Shelly”
Great Granddaughter: Kara
Brother: Paul (Josephine) Ilenich of Stering Heights, MI
Sister in Law Dorothy Richetta of Laurium MI
Numerous nieces and nephews
The family would like to thank Aspirus at Home Hospice Staff for their assistance in making this transition a peaceful one.
A funeral mass will be held at the Sacred Heart Church in Calumet on Thursday August 13, 2020 at 11:00 AM.
Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30-11:00 AM
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences can be left for the family at www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com
Burial with military honors conducted by the Copper Country Veterans Association will be in the Lake View Cemetery.