Charles Albert Heninger, 89, of Asheville, NC, passed away on Friday March 7, 2014. Charlie was born in East Lafayette, IN on Oct. 3, 1924, the 5th child of Merle and Mabel Heninger. After completing high school in East Lafayette he joined the U.S. Marines and served as a member of the 4th Marine Raider Battalion during the battles of Guam, Saipan, and Okinawa where he was wounded. After recovering he was assigned to TASK FORCE THIRTY ONE which was the honor guard for the surrender of the Japanese forces aboard the USS Missouri. After the war Charlie returned home and attended Purdue University on the G.I. Bill where he played varsity football and attained his degree in Education. He also attained Master degrees in Physical Education and Educational Administration/Supervision. Upon graduation, Charlie began a 45-year career in Education serving as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and assistant principal before retiring in 1996. Charlie and his family moved to West Palm Beach in 1963 where he served the Palm Beach County School System for 33 years. He and his wife Gail then moved to Lake Lure, NC and eventually to Asheville, NC. Charlie was very dedicated to his profession and had a positive influence on the lives of many young people over the years.
Charlie was a loving husband, son, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle. He was predeceased by his son Rodney, his parents, three sisters and one brother.
Charlie is survived by his wife, Gail, of 31 years, four sons, Charles (Kay), Terry (Sheryl), Ted (Betty), Michael (Ida) Heninger and one daughter Melissa Robbins Vanlandingham. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, three siblings, Earl (Merle) and Carl (Kay) and Edith, and numerous nieces and nephews.
During retirement he was an avid golfer and gardener. He also built many stained glass ornaments, and bird house gourds. Charlie was an adamant fan of all Purdue athletics and spent many hours watching the Big Ten Network supporting the Boilermakers. In November 2013, Charlie was a recipient of a Wish of a Lifetime Foundation program to attend a Purdue home football game, meet the team and be on the field for the flip of the coin at the beginning of the game and watch the game with the President of Purdue University.
Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road in Asheville, NC is helping with the arrangements. Charlie will be cremated and a memorial service will be held at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.