Ervin Otto Hennig, age 84 of Eau Claire and formerly of Fall Creek, died
Sunday, August 18, 2019 at home, surrounded by family after suffering a
stroke. His family is deeply thankful for the care of Dr. Pete Halverson
and Mayo Clinic hospice nurses, who helped keep him comfortable in his
final days. Erv’s was a life well spent, helping others and taking care
of his family alongside his wife, Doris.
Erv was born in the town of Ludington on December 27, 1934 to Lydia
(Knuth) and Edward Hennig. He was raised on the family farm in Ludington and attended Pine View School, where he took on the responsibility of starting the wood fire each morning; he earned 25 cents per day for his dedication! He graduated from Fall Creek High School in 1954. He played basketball and baseball for the Crickets and cheered for them in the decades that followed.
After graduation, he farmed with his father and worked for Milton
Jungerburg building houses. Later he worked in the shipping department
for 25 years at Pope & Talbot paper mill in Eau Claire, and after
retirement he was the custodian for St. James Trinity Lutheran Church in
Fall Creek. He performed that job at his home church for 22 years. He
was also the sexton for Ludington Cemetery for 25 years.
Erv married Doris Westphal on July 8, 1961 at St. James Trinity Lutheran
Church in Fall Creek. They resided in rural Fall Creek until moving to
rural Eau Claire in 2013.
In his free time, he enjoyed both bow and gun hunting, including trips
out west with his friends, fishing in Birchwood, playing in dart ball
leagues, collecting John Deere toy tractors and classic cars, and
playing cards with friends and family; he also built his own elaborate
HO scale train set. Erv was a very talented woodworker and in his shop
he handcrafted cherished and long-lasting home and office furniture for
many of his family members. He built many baptism chests for children
being baptized at his home church. He also helped his children and
grandchildren with many building construction, repair and remodeling
projects. He was a hard-working man who found simple satisfaction in a
job done right. He came from a generation and a community that found
happiness in helping others, and simply believed in being nice to
people. He was kind, he was generous and he was quick with a joke at
just the right moment.
He read the Bible daily, attended his home church or Trinity Lutheran
Church in Eau Claire regularly until it became too difficult for him,
and in his later years especially, looked forward to the day he would be
welcomed home by Jesus.
He had a sweet tooth that was legendary within his family. He also
enjoyed chicken wing night at several local restaurants and taverns,
all-you-can-eat shrimp on his birthday, and every once in a while, a
cold beer - but just one!
Erv is survived by his wife, Doris, and three children: Linda Strauch of
Fall Creek, Rodney Hennig (Sharon) of Leawood, KS, and Jennifer Hughes (Scott) of rural Fall Creek; grandchildren Kyle Strauch (Melanie),
Ashley Olson (Chris), Alex Strauch (special friend Mackenzie
Arganbright), Zach Hennig, Makila Hennig, Logan Hughes, Marley Hughes, Cait Sojka (Ben), Kylie Newberry (Van) and Piper Bold (fiancé Mark Hafter); great-grandchildren Landon Strauch, Austin Buss, Elijah
Strauch, McKenzi Olson, Teagan Olson and Logan Olson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Irene Warner (Don),
brother Laverne Hennig (Rosetta), father- and mother-in-law Frank and
Marion Westphal, brother-in-law Larry Westphal, and three nieces.
Erv’s celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 23, 2019 at St.
James Trinity Lutheran Church in Fall Creek at 11 a.m. Visitation will
be from 9 a.m. to 11a.m. prior to the service.
In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family asks that memorials be given in
Erv’s name to either the St. James Trinity Lutheran Church Furnace Fund
or the L.E. Phillips Senior Center, where Erv spent many years
exercising and socializing to counter the effects of Parkinson’s disease.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com