Charles Henry Henke
Charles Henry Henke, 81, of Concordia, Mo., passed away on Feb. 3, 2021.
Charlie was born Oct. 10, 1939, to Maurice “Dink” Henke and Gertrude Neal Henke on Jefferson Street in Marshall, Mo. Charlie was raised in Malta Bend, Mo., where he played basketball and graduated from Malta Bend High School in 1957.
Charlie attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated in 1961 from the School of Wildlife Biology. He had a legendary basketball career at Mizzou, earning All-Big Eight honors in 1960 and 1961 and All-American status in 1961. He was inducted into the Mystical Seven in 1960. He still holds the number 2 spot on the all-time season scoring average at 24.6 points per game, which was set in 1961.
Following graduation from the University of Missouri, Charlie was selected in the fourth round of the NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He toured with the Harlem Globetrotters as an All-American and traveled to Denver in 1961 to earn a spot on the US Olympic team. He then decided to play near home for the Kansas City Steers, where he was honored with a key to the city of Kansas City by President Harry S Truman in 1962.
Following a year in the ABA, Charlie went to work for the Missouri State Department of Conservation at the Shell Osage Wildlife Area. Realizing his first love was basketball, he returned to the University of Missouri to earn his master’s degree in Physical Education.
He taught and coached basketball in Nevada, Mo., from 1966-70 before moving to Mehlville, Mo., where he taught and coached for an additional four years. The final 22 years of his teaching career were spent close to his home roots in Carrollton, Mo., where he taught Biology and coached basketball.
He retired in 1996 and moved to Concordia where he spent the remainder of his years with his wife of nearly 25 years, Sandy. He spent as much time as possible on trips to Estes Park, Colo., reading western novels, fishing on his pontoon with lifelong friends, and playing cards and poker with great comrades. Many will remember him for his basketball accomplishments, but those closest to him will be most-grateful for his wit, sense of humor, and often-imparted wisdom (welcomed or not).
Charlie was named to the University of Missouri All-Century team in 2006, inducted into the University of Missouri Hall of Fame in 2007, and the State of Missouri Hall of Fame in 2016.
Charles is survived by his wife, Sandra Henke, of the home; two stepdaughters, Stacey (Ray) Paine, and Stefanie Werths, of Overland Park; and a daughter, Sara Ghee Mason of Owensboro, Ky.; and grandchildren, Tucker and Ethan Paine, Evan and Logan Kirchhoff, and Chase Mason. Preceding Charles in death were his parents; and a son, Charles Wesley Henke.
Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, at Campbell-Lewis Funeral Home in Concordia. A private family burial will be held. A Celebration of Life is planned for May 30 with details to be released at a later date. Memorials are suggested to Lafayette County Cancer Coalition or Malta Bend Cemetery Association. Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com.
Honorary Pallbearers include Richard Cordes, Ron Fleischmann, Van Hudson, Tom Malter, Dave Matthews, Wendall Olson, Joe Scallorns, L. Joe Scott, Terry Turlington, Lynn Wilkinson, and Ken Wodrich.
Masks are required at all services, and social distancing will be observed.