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HookedonStudies
04-20-2009, 10:51 AM
From today's South Bend Tribune:


Ex-Studebaker employee, 102, dies
At 102, Henry was last of plant's 'Dirty Dozen.'

By MARGARET FOSMOE
Tribune Staff Writer

J. Everett "Hank" Henry clearly remembered his first day working for the Studebaker Corp. in 1924 and the day in 1963 when the company announced it would cease operations in South Bend.

"We just didn't hardly believe it," Henry said in a 2002 Tribune interview, recalling the news the auto plant would close.

Henry, 102, of New Carlisle, a longtime former Greene Township resident, died Friday at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.


He was believed to be the oldest living former Studebaker employee. He worked at the company for 47 years.

Henry was born in Walkerton on June 28, 1906, and graduated from Walkerton High School in 1924. On March 10, 1928, in Walkerton, he married the former Irene A. Martin. She died in 1979.

The family lived in Walkerton until moving to a home in Greene Township in 1953.

Henry started work at Studebaker on Aug. 25, 1924, as a crib tender a job that involved checking out tools to plant workers and making sure the tools were returned. He earned 45 cents an hour for the standard 50-hour workweek of that era.

He later was a Studebaker apprentice toolmaker, then a piston grinder. During the Depression, he supplemented his paycheck by delivering mail, tending a large garden and buying most of the family's meat at the Studebaker commissary.

During World War II, Henry worked in the Studebaker aviation plant, which produced engines for bombers.

He later served as a foreman. He was working at the accessories plant in December 1963 when the news was announced that Studebaker would shut down production in South Bend.

Henry and 11 others the "Dirty Dozen" kept working at the accessories plant. They were the last Studebaker workers employed in South Bend. His last day on the job was in December 1971. The rest of the dozen preceded Henry in death.

Henry owned many Studebakers over the years, including a 1950 bullet-nose Champion. He built the engine himself on his lunch hours. "I drove it 117,00 miles, coast to coast and border to border," he recalled in a 2005 interview.

Until past his 100th birthday, Henry continued to live on his own at his home in Greene Township. He enjoyed raising tomatoes, baking, reading and going to church.

Henry was a member of Sumption Prairie United Methodist Church in South Bend, a former Walkerton volunteer firefighter, a member of Walkerton Masonic Lodge No. 619 and a founding member of the Walkerton Historical Society.

He is survived by his daughter, Catherine M. (Thomas) Box of South Bend; a son, George E. (Wilda) Henry of North Liberty; eight grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. today in Sumption Prairie United Methodist Church, with burial to follow at Porter-Rae Cemetery in North Liberty. Hanley & Sons Southwest Chapel Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Friends will be received in the church one hour prior to the services. Memorial contributions may be made to the church.Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe: mfosmoe@sbtinfo.com (574) 235-6329

Bill Pressler
04-20-2009, 11:57 AM
quote:Originally posted by HookedonStudies

From today's South Bend Tribune:


Ex-Studebaker employee, 102, dies
At 102, Henry was last of plant's 'Dirty Dozen.'

By MARGARET FOSMOE
Tribune Staff Writer

J. Everett "Hank" Henry clearly remembered his first day working for the Studebaker Corp. in 1924 and the day in 1963 when the company announced it would cease operations in South Bend.

"We just didn't hardly believe it," Henry said in a 2002 Tribune interview, recalling the news the auto plant would close.

Henry, 102, of New Carlisle, a longtime former Greene Township resident, died Friday at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.


He was believed to be the oldest living former Studebaker employee. He worked at the company for 47 years.

Henry was born in Walkerton on June 28, 1906, and graduated from Walkerton High School in 1924. On March 10, 1928, in Walkerton, he married the former Irene A. Martin. She died in 1979.

The family lived in Walkerton until moving to a home in Greene Township in 1953.

Henry started work at Studebaker on Aug. 25, 1924, as a crib tender a job that involved checking out tools to plant workers and making sure the tools were returned. He earned 45 cents an hour for the standard 50-hour workweek of that era.

He later was a Studebaker apprentice toolmaker, then a piston grinder. During the Depression, he supplemented his paycheck by delivering mail, tending a large garden and buying most of the family's meat at the Studebaker commissary.

During World War II, Henry worked in the Studebaker aviation plant, which produced engines for bombers.

He later served as a foreman. He was working at the accessories plant in December 1963 when the news was announced that Studebaker would shut down production in South Bend.

Henry and 11 others the "Dirty Dozen" kept working at the accessories plant. They were the last Studebaker workers employed in South Bend. His last day on the job was in December 1971. The rest of the dozen preceded Henry in death.

Henry owned many Studebakers over the years, including a 1950 bullet-nose Champion. He built the engine himself on his lunch hours. "I drove it 117,00 miles, coast to coast and border to border," he recalled in a 2005 interview.

Until past his 100th birthday, Henry continued to live on his own at his home in Greene Township. He enjoyed raising tomatoes, baking, reading and going to church.

Henry was a member of Sumption Prairie United Methodist Church in South Bend, a former Walkerton volunteer firefighter, a member of Walkerton Masonic Lodge No. 619 and a founding member of the Walkerton Historical Society.

He is survived by his daughter, Catherine M. (Thomas) Box of South Bend; a son, George E. (Wilda) Henry of North Liberty; eight grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. today in Sumption Prairie United Methodist Church, with burial to follow at Porter-Rae Cemetery in North Liberty. Hanley & Sons Southwest Chapel Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Friends will be received in the church one hour prior to the services. Memorial contributions may be made to the church.Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe: mfosmoe@sbtinfo.com (574) 235-6329



Boy, you sort-of wish someone representing the SDC (international) could go to the visitation and pay our collective respect. Easy for me to say, I know.

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1
'64 Daytona Hardtop

BobPalma
04-20-2009, 12:09 PM
:) 'Plenty of Studebaker folks and SDC members in the area, Bill; I'm sure SDC will be well represented. :DBP

ChampTrucking
04-20-2009, 12:38 PM
Anyone remember the pictures of that poor rusted Champ Pickup I posted about? My friend Tom in Tennessee came up here and got it after his brother in law ( known as Captain Stubby) passed away.He took it home to restore and keep in the family. I had a chance to talk to Tom this morning and Tom told me that Hank Henry, his wife's Uncle had passed. The Hank Henry,last of the "Dirty Dozen." I had just read about it a hour before we talked. Its a shame a bunch of the former employees have passed. RIP Mr Henry.
Anyone wishing to send condolences to Mr Henry's Niece send to:mamagin_3_2@yahoo.com

ChampTrucking
04-20-2009, 12:42 PM
there should be a _ between mamagin and the 3,and another _ between the 3 and the 2.Do not know why I can not see it in the post.sorry.

Sdude
04-20-2009, 02:49 PM
I'd like to put something in our club newsletter. Anyone have a picture of Hank?

Jon Stalnaker
Editor, Hawk Talks
Karel Staple Chapter SDC
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/2848527836_6f817c03fc_t.jpg

raprice
04-20-2009, 06:05 PM
Wow, what a great life! Instead of mourning him, we should celebrate his wonderful life. May he rest in peace.
Rog

'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
Smithtown,NY