Henry William “Hank” Lerche Jr., 93, Kokomo, passed away Monday December 2, 2019, at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born January 12, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of the late Henry William Sr. & Helen (Heid) Lerche. On June 30, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, he married Priscilla “Pat” Charlotte Huberty and she survives.
Henry joined the Army Air Force in November of 1943, during WWII, serving 2 ½ years of active duty. He helped train airman in Radar Techniques. He was transferred to the Army Transportation Corp where he operated and maintained Navy Radar aboard Army Troop Ships. After the war, he enlisted in the Army reserves serving 3 years. He graduated from DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Henry worked for WF Hall Printing Company, the Denver Post, Lerche and Co. Trucking in Chicago, Illinois and Alaska, then retiring after 42 years with Delco Electronics as an electrician and was a member of UAW Local #292. He was a member of St. Patrick and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church where he volunteered for 68 years for projects for both churches and was a member of Knights of Columbus and Sweat Equity. He also umpired little league at Northwest Park.
Henry and his family loved to camp all over Indiana and the United States. He loved his wife and his children very much. In 1948, he bought a truck and went to Alaska with his brother John and his wife. Henry and his brother John, who owned Lerche Brothers Trucking Company, hauled lumber and commercially fished for Sockeye Salmon, taking turns driving the 1400 miles, on gravel roads, round trip. As a member of the Sunshine Club he enjoyed playing Pinnacle, and Euchre, and was chairman for the Cowboy Club where he was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Along with his wife of 68 years, Pat, Henry is survived by his children, Theresa Colleen (Daniel) Hiatt, Michael Peter (Lisa) Lerche, and John Gerard Lerche; grandchildren, Daniel Patrick Hiatt, Alicia Rae (Ross) Woods, Kristen Colleen (Julius) Walker, Theresa Danielle Putnam, Dottie Leigh (Matt) Bonds, Colleen Priscilla Lerche (fiancé, Cole Hubbert), Henry William Lerche IV, Jennifer Renee (Chris) Jack, and Johnathan Richard (Misty) Lerche; great-grandchildren, Daniel Stone Patrick Hiatt, Shelby Cheyanne Hiatt, Henley Haven Hiatt, Aiden Matthew Woods, Nolan Walter Woods, Harper Colleen Walker, Stella Marie Walker, Axahl Bruce Hiatt, Armani Rae Putnam, Tyler John-Christopher Jack, Neveah Charlotte-Renee, Kayden Carl Jay Duke, Zayne Carl-Wayne Lerche, and Zakari Ann Lerche.
Henry was preceded in death by his parents; children, Henry William Lerche III, and Patrick Joseph Lerche; grandson, Michael Peter Lerche Jr; and great-grandson, Johnathan Carl Wayne Lerche; and siblings, Robert Lerche, Phyllis Heinen, John Lerche, Jane Bingham, and Richard Lerche.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated at 11:00 am Monday, December 9, 2019, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3155 W. 200 S., Kokomo. Burial will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery with military honors provided by the United States Army and the Kokomo VFW Military Rites Team. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 5-8 pm Sunday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo. Memorial contributions may be made in Henry’s memory to the Monastery of the Poor Clares. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
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