Col. Henry ‘Hank’ Peter Ilenich
LAURIUM — Colonel Henry “Hank” Peter Ilenich, a resident of Florida Street in Laurium, passed away peacefully at his home with his wife by his side on Friday morning, August 7, 2020.
He was born on July 26, 1933, at the Calumet Public Hospital to John and Katherine (Kastelic) Ilenich. He was the first incubator baby.
Henry attended local schools including classes in a two room log cabin at Betsy River for three years where his mother was the teacher. In high school Henry was a drum major for the band.
He joined the National Guard in his senior year and graduated from Calumet High School in 1951.
After graduation Henry spent two years on the boats where he became a wheels man. He then was drafted into the U.S. Army as a sergeant in 1954 and served in Korea at Pan Mun Jom for two years, this was the site of the peace talks.
Henry then went on to graduate from Northern Michigan University in 1958, with a degree in History, which brought him back to Calumet as a teacher at Calumet High school for the next 36 years.
In 1967, Henry began serving as the Company Commander for the local National Guard 107th Engineers and was deployed during the Detroit riots in 1968 and for the Martin Luther King assassination and more until his retirement from the Michigan National Guard as a full Colonel in 1988.
Henry was a member of Sacred Heart Church and served as an usher. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus and VFW Post 3900 of Calumet.
Hank enjoyed spending time at his camp in Big Traverse and woodworking in the shop. If he had any downtime you could find him with a sudoku book in his hands.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother John Ilenich; and sister, Mary Hrovatich.
Surviving are his wife Mary; daughter, Karen Cimaglia of Cave Creek, Arizona; son, Michael (Laura) Ilenich of Petosky; grandchildren, Katrina, Mark, Matthew and Michelle “Shelly”; great- granddaughter, Kara; brother, Paul (Josephine) Ilenich of Stering Heights; sister-in-law, Dorothy Richetta of Laurium; numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Aspirus at Home Hospice Staff for their assistance in making this transition a peaceful one.
A funeral mass will be held at the Sacred Heart Church in Calumet on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 11 a.m. with Fr. Corbin Eddy to officiate.
Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Online condolences can be left for the family at ericksoncrowleypeterson.com.
Burial with military honors conducted by the Copper Country Veterans Association will be in the Lake View Cemetery.