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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2005

Plant chief's active life included volunteering

CRIDERSVILLE, Ohio - Robert Henne, a supervisor at the Ford Motor Co. Engine Plant in Lima for 25 years and a dedicated local volunteer for community organizations, died Friday in Cridersville Health Care. He was 87.

Mr. Henne died of complications from a stroke he suffered 20 years ago, Becky Bayliff, a fellow churchgoer and funeral director, said.

He was born in Auglaize County and married Nina Hoverman in 1941. He fought in the Pacific theater in World War II.

Mr. Henne sang in the Westview United Methodist Church choir, a quartet at Kossuth United Methodist Church in Kossuth, Ohio, and was a member of more than 10 clubs and organizations in western and northwestern Ohio. He also was president of the Ford-owned B&B Credit Union in Lima.

He had been in a nursing home for 17 years, but in the years he lived in the Cridersville area he made a lasting impression, Ms. Bayliff said.

He was a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6772 in Spencerville when it began 52 years ago, Ed Moorman, a VFW member, said.

Mr. Henne also was a charter member in the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, which sponsored the Navy memorial finished in Washington in 1988.

"He was a great guy ... and a good patriotic American," said Mr. Moorman, who knew Mr. Henne for 30 years.

He said before Mr. Henne had the stroke, he and his wife went dancing at the VFW when the post sponsored dances.

Mr. Henne also was an avid golfer. He scored two holes in one and earned 29 trophies while playing for more than 25 years with friends from the Ford plant. He also played on softball teams and hunted.

"When he was active, he had the quality of life most people dream of," Ms. Bayliff said.

Surviving are his wife, Nina Henne, one sister, Donna Fritz, and one brother, Joe Henne.

Services, conducted by the Rev. Jerry Wiles, will be at Westview United Methodist Church in Cridersville at 1:30 p.m. today.

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