Jean and John Henkels 2009

We Feel Blessed

A seemingly unlikely venue to meet one's spouse, yet a Notre Dame football game served as the back drop to Jean and John Henkels' introduction. The Fighting Irish played in Baltimore that day and Jean and John met the following day to attend Mass together and a romance was borne. Since that chance meeting, the Henkels have enjoyed fifty nine years of marriage, raised twelve children who in turn have blessed Jean and John with twenty three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Jean and John Henkels' life is a story of love, faith and grace. To know the Henkels is to witness a zest for life and a passion for doing good. The Henkels arrived in Salt Lake City from Pennsylvania in 1970. The family basked in the beauty of their new found home and immediately took to the grandeur of the red rocks and to skiing the slopes of Park City.

Jean and John's commitment to a faith based education resulted in ten of their children attending Utah's Catholic schools, Saint Vincent de Paul and Judge Memorial. The commitment and support for Catholic education continues even as the Henkels' children have grown. Jean and John have donated to a myriad of causes for Catholic students and educators alike over the years. Jean and John explain their giving philosophy simply, "We want to give back to God and our Catholic community. Stewardship and giving is not a big issue; it's the way we are. Yet giving money is only part of it, you have to be active as well." The Henkels have also made The Catholic Foundation of Utah an integral part of their estate planning efforts saying, "We cannot imagine not being Catholic. We feel blessed, so blessed, we consider ourselves stewards of wealth, not owners of wealth."

Jean and John having both been raised in Catholic households, found living and raising their own children as Catholics was a natural lifestyle and one that can now be traced to their children. A plaque prominently displayed in the Henkels' home explains it all:

"Two things we give our children; one is roots, the other is wings."

If you are fortunate enough to know or meet Jean and John, you will be treated to the most engaging and energetic of couples. If you are a Utah Catholic, you will certainly recognize the Henkels' fingerprints on many of our most important Catholic causes. And if you are a part of The Catholic Foundation of Utah's community, you will want to join us in recognizing and thanking this wonderful couple for their limitless giving and influence in our Catholic community and charities.

Thank you Jean and John Henkels and may God bless you and your family.