Harold Henkel

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Harold Emil Henkel was born at home on Wednesday, January 8, 1936 to Eduard and Elizabeth (Leibold) Henkel. He was the youngest of three, joining Sarah "Phyllis" (1929) and Herbert Adolph (1934). At the time, the Henkel family were living on a farm just a few miles southeast of Owen Sound in Sydenham Township.

In 1938, the Henkels moved to a farm just north of Dornoch. They remained there until 1941 when their barn burned down. They lost almost everything in the barn; the year’s crops, the machinery and the pigs. Once again the family relocated, this time to a farm near Williamsford on the second concession of Sullivan, where Harold remained for the rest of his life.

Even after the family had moved to Sullivan Township the children continued to go to the same public school, U.S.S. #4, Holland and Sullivan, known as the Red Brick School. This enabled the older two Henkels to keep their old school chums and making new friends. Harold’s formal education went as far as grade eight. At that time he continued helping out on the farm and worked for two years as an electrician’s helper with Minkes Electric. It was also during this time that Harold began driving truck and obtained his chauffeur's license. He also drove many years moving livestock for Mel Heft.

In his childhood, Harold enjoyed tobogganing with him and his siblings purchasing their own sled. The children also attended many Farm Forums with their parents. A really cute story is told of when Harold was only four years old and frequently went to McIntyres grocery store, for his mother, about a half a mile away from their Dornoch home. A salesman not believing what he saw, questioned Harold as to his age. Harold accurately told him and received a chocolate bar as a reward.

Lured to the wide expanse of sky and prairie in Saskatchewan, Harold went to work in 1956, on a 3,500 acre farm during the harvest. Upon returning home, he was employed at Elliot’s Feed Mill in Williamsford for four years. Harold also spent two years at the Chatsworth Fish Hatchery, working in construction, upgrading the hatchery.

It was while he was working at the hatchery that Harold met Margaret Dorothy Viola Molson at the gas station, she owned and operated in Williamsford. The attraction was immediate and after a short courtship, they were married at the Lutheran Parsonage in Desboro on November 23, 1963. If this date sounds familiar, you would be right! It was the day after JFK was assassinated. Interestingly enough, the couple spent their honeymoon in the United States and were very much limited in what they were able to do because of the President's death. When Harold and Marg returned home they took up residence on the Henkel farm. Stephen Harold Frederick was born, December 16, 1964 and four years later Michael Harold Edward was born, September 17, 1968. It was during this time that Harold took a job with Pepplers Furniture in Hanover for another eight years, as a cabinet maker. His wage you ask? $1.25 an hour. 

In August of 1967, Harold and Marg officially purchased the same 120-acre farm for $5,000.00. There they crop farmed and raised cattle, pigs, chickens, geese and even ponies. Harold continued to work off the farm, spending time at Kennedy's and RCA in Owen Sound.  His last position was with Hobarts Canada in Owen Sound where he remained until his retirement at the age of sixty-five in 2001. 

When not at work, Harold remained busy within the community. He and Marg spent thirty-five years running the food concession at Moto Park, during the summer months, a motorcycle race track around the corner. He was also tasked with the job of watering the track for a time period. An interesting fact, the property of Moto Park that Harold and Margaret worked on for 35 years was previously owned by Harold’s sister, Phyllis and her husband Reg from about 1949 to 1963. In the winter months, Harold and Ken Illman ran and maintained the Williamsford arena for a number of years. Together, Margaret and Harold also volunteered at many community functions such as garden parties, Schneider’s dances, walk-a-thons, hockey tournaments, snowmobile events and many, many bonspiels.

Harold and Marg were lifelong members of St. James Lutheran Church, Williamsford and their faith was central to their lives. Along with Michael's help, they served as caretakers of the church property, (inside the building and cemetery) for over 50 years. Harold served in the church choir, on church council, made stands for the Christmas Candlelight services and made communion wine, along with many other opportunities to serve, that arose in church life.

When Marg and Harold celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary they renewed their wedding vows, this time not in the parsonage, but in the church itself. It was a grand event with family and friends present and a party followed at the Chatsworth Legion. They celebrated their 50th anniversary at the new Williamsford Community Centre with friends and family, at a come and go tea, and in the evening a dinner.

Harold not only had a number of jobs during his lifetime but he also had several interests. He enjoyed tinkering and was very hands-on, loving to fix things. Harold also collected coins and apparently never threw anything out as there might be a time when it would come in handy! He enjoyed the process of wine making, from the crushing of the grapes, fermenting, to the bottling process. Along with Margaret and his skill of making wine for home and church, they also perfected their recipe of dandelion wine when the boys were young. Many a family member enjoyed the intoxicating properties of their dandelion wine. He enjoyed spending time with family over the holidays, especially Christmas. He was a homebody, with the boys recalling only two nights whereby their parents didn't sleep in their own bed, and both were because of snow storms. 

As part of his retirement gift, Harold bought himself a satellite dish. What a change coming from a lifetime of watching the same 2 - 3 channels. He loved watching the like of “Columbo,” “Dallas” as well as any police show programming. Game shows were another favourite of Harold's, with "Family Feud" taking the prize. He was however, not a fan of Steve Harvey, but his love of the game outweighed the dislike of the man. Harold also enjoyed music, especially Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers. Margaret and Harold even attended a Kenny Rogers concert along with Michael, at the Owen Sound Bayshore Arena. In his younger years, he enjoyed the occasional rye or scotch, but more recently preferred his tea and hot chocolate, most times even consuming three a day. This makes more sense when you realize that Harold loved anything sweet, desert, candy, it didn't matter. Harold was also very fond of his animals, particularly his dogs, with his two boxers, Gus and Cindy being the most memorable companions! When Harold was around 5, the family got a black Heinz 57 (mutt) named Toby. Toby was a good working farm dog who lived to an old age of 12-14 years. When Toby was crippled and could not move anymore, Harold was the one who helped Toby out of his pain and misery, something no one else in the family could do. In those days you did not take dogs, who were in pain or great distress to the Vet to have them put to sleep. This was not easy for Harold, but he also didn’t want the animal to suffer. He was also the friendly face and meal provider for hundreds of barn cats over the years. The last barn cat, Blackie has now made it to the house as well as a stray dog Riley (who showed up October 2018) and has brought Harold much enjoyment as well. Finally, who could forget Friday shopping trips to Owen Sound. Many stories of these trips continue to live on until this day!

Harold was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken man who was always generous. He was known to be strict on occasion, and was always able to keep his wits about him. He could also be a bit of a smart @#$! He seldom said no to anyone and was always willing to help. Harold always worked hard, no matter the task, to provide for his family.

There are a couple more cute stories about Harold, although you have to ask the boys what they are. Hint: one includes Harold chasing after Stephen and the other is about helping mom out of the garbage can! Some of the life lessons he taught his boys (mostly by example) were; work hard, be independent, never complain and be a good provider. Harold was an excellent role model for this boys and always enjoyed time spent with the children and grandchildren. 

Sadly, in recent years Harold began developing dementia. He was always very appreciative of the love and support he received, and was very thankful to remain at home during this time period, with Michael providing loving constant care for him, in the home, on the farm he loved. Harold always made a concerted effort to say ‘Thank You’, for any kindness shown to him.  Unfortunately, he fell and broke his hip on November 30th, 2019, never returning home after that. He passed away at Grey Bruce Health Services, Markdale on Monday, December 30, 2019 in his 84th year. Even though his death is difficult for Harold’s family and friends, it is freeing for Harold – no more pain, no more tears, no more crying.

Loving father of Stephen and his wife Sheila of Southampton, Michael of R.R. #2 Chatsworth and Douglas Subject of B.C. Father-in-law of Marg Subject of Williamford and Marj Holman of Lion’s Head. Cherished grampa of Drew, Loriann, Mike, Susan, Jane, Krista, Roger, Rob and Angela and great-grandfather of Hannah, Brandon, Shayla and Alex. Harold will be dearly missed by his sister Phyllis Moore of Owen Sound, brother Herb (Nancy) of London and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret (2017), daughter Ruthann Callan, son Walter Subject and his parents Eduard and Elizabeth (Leibold) Henkel. 

The family will receive friends at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Tuesday from 2 - 4 and 7 - 9 p.m. where a celebration of Harold’s life will be held on his 84th birthday, Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 1 p.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service. His son, Pastor Michael Henkel presiding. Spring interment in St. James Lutheran Cemetery, Williamsford.

Memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society or The Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Karen and Grace Henkel
January 15, 2020
To the family of Harold Henkel; we are saddened by your loss. Know that we are thinking of you. My Mom (Grace) and Dad (Fredrick Henkel) visited Harold and Margaret often at the farm.
With care, Aunt Grace and cousin Karen Henkel
Linda Murray
January 6, 2020
Michael.....my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jo-Anne & Glen Cook
January 3, 2020
Michael, so sorry to hear about Harold, he will be dearly missed by all of us. He will miss seeing him over at the church and his quiet spirit. Everytime we hear the church bells, we will think of him
Guy Helwig and Tracey Bookham-Smith
January 2, 2020
We’re so sorry to hear of your loss Steve, Sheila and Drew ... Keep your memories of your Dad / Grandpa close to your hearts and he’ll never be far away.
Thinking of you at this sad time.
Guy and Tracey
Rick & Donna Hatten
January 2, 2020
Our sympathy to you Michael and your family. Happy memories will keep your Dad close and help you get through this sad time. Sending hugs!
Bob and Marlene Masterson
January 2, 2020
Sheila and Steve and Drew
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family .Thinking of you .
Bob and Marlene Masterson
Darlene Bailey
January 2, 2020
So sorry to hear of your father's passing Michael. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Heather Stewart
January 2, 2020
So sorry to hear of your father's passing Michael. My thoughts are with you.
Bill White
January 2, 2020
So sorry for your loss. I have so many fond memories of your dad growing up. Whether it was at the Williamsford arena or Moto Park your dad was always so good to us kids.
Marsha reany
January 2, 2020
Thinking of you all at this most difficult of losing your dad. Sending love from Liam, Dalton and me ❤️ I am here if you need anything xoxo
Doreen McKay
January 2, 2020
Sending sympathy to Michael and the family of Harold. It is always so hard to lose a loved one... you are in my thoughts at this sad time.
Patti Elliot
January 2, 2020
My deepest sympathies to Michael, Steve and the rest of the family. Praying you find comfort at this sad time.
Elaine Maluske
January 1, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Michael and other family members. Fond memories will keep him close.
pat crozier
January 1, 2020
our prayers are with family and friends at this time

Submit A Condolence

Fill in the form below to send a public condolence.

To send a private condolence to the family please click here


If you are having difficulty posting a condolence, please email it directly to nathan@rhodyfamily.com and we will post it for you! Sorry for any inconvenience.


accommodations in the chesley area

Our Testimonials

Well Nathan…due to COVID and everything going on, you did an excellent job and you went above and beyond our expectation. COVID changed a lot of things, but in the end we were very satisfied. Thank you! 

Mary Kaufman

I can think of nothing you could have done to better improve our experience. My grandchildren & I all felt relaxed and so appreciated your quiet, excellent care of our family. You provided dignity & caring – so much appreciated. I somehow knew we were in good hands.

Joan Saunders

We were very pleased with everything. So much positive feedback was received! We felt so very supported and cared for throughout!! We would recommend your funeral home in a heartbeat. We were so happy to travel from Barrie to Chesley to have you take care of our John. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Ellis & Family

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

Back to Top