John Roger Henneberger, Sr., age 82, of Dallas, Texas passed away Friday, January 28, 2022. John grew up in Princeton, Indiana where he attended Princeton High School. He played basketball and baseball and earned a scholarship to play at Loyola University in New Orleans where he met the love of his life, Judy. They married in 1961 and spent several years living the military life of an Army officer. Upon his honorable discharge, John and Judy moved to Dallas, Texas where John was a career employee for The Equitable Agency/AXA. While helping to raise their four children, John stayed busy coaching youth basketball and supporting the Diocese of Dallas as a Serra Club member at St. Rita Catholic Church and occasional religious education teacher at All Saints Catholic Church. His kids’ SVAA athletic endeavors kept him in the Coach’s corner, and his friendships kept him on the fishing boats, basketball courts, tennis courts or baseball fields. A nascent gardener, John staged a garden beyond belief in the 1970s, forcing Judy to brush up on her canning skills. He replicated his passion with his grandkids, which brought him so much joy.
In his 30s, John kicked cancer to the side as he had much more living to do. Although he loved coaching his children in sports and being a mentor to neighborhood kids on the proper technique for shooting a free-throw, his best times were saved for his Opa years with his eight grandchildren. John never met a person with whom he didn’t share a story. Even the employees at Kroger knew about his grandkids, and the whole neighborhood knew Mr. John / Opa. He was an institution for the Spring Creek area and never knew a stranger; he could remedy a loose tooth with nary a tear from the child, “it will just pinch for a second,” much to the delight of squeamish moms and dads.
He spent his retired years in the Spring Creek VIP, keeping our neighborhood safe, and those garage doors shut, with Judy or his neighbor Mr. Frank riding shotgun. John loved to fish and he loved to joke and he loved a cold beer on a hot day. He especially loved hot days as he spent his youth working in his family’s ice house in Indiana. I suppose that’s why he enjoyed mowing the junior high school’s softball field in the summers. He made that his own “Field of Dreams,” and many neighbors have fond memories of Monday night games. Some neighbors were surprised to find their old brittle basketball net had been replaced on their basketball hoop, courtesy of Mr. John, and that’s how it went with Dad. Anyone that truly knew him, knew he had such a big heart. He’d give you anything even if it wasn’t his to give. He would fix the unfixable, and sometimes, the unbroken. He could cuss and he could fuss, but mostly he loved fiercely and deeply. We take comfort in knowing that John/Dad/Opa is now at peace surrounded by light.
He is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Joe (Twiggy), John Jr., Jenny Jacobs (Scott) and Julie Patton (David); grandchildren Kennedi and Michael Henneberger, McKenzie and Holden Jacobs, Elizabeth, Henry, Caroline and Jane Patton; brother, Larry (Nancy) and brother-in-law, Steve Duncan; nieces and nephews, Joe Bury (Dawn), Mike Bury (Maryann), Maria Bettag (Lenny), Larry Henneberger (Nancy), Michelle Duncan and Steve Duncan (Michelle); cousins Melinda Henneberger (Bill Turque), Joanne Pickett (Wiley) and Ann Record. He is preceded in death by his loving parents Francis and Vera (Rogers) Henneberger and father and mother-in-law, Dr. Henry and Judith (Aymé) Haydel; sisters, Sue Bury and Nancy Duncan and brother-in-law, Charles Bury; nephews Tony Bury and Jim Henneberger; cousins John L. Henneberger and Rich Record.
Services will be held at All Saints Catholic Church, 5231 Meadowcreek Drive, Dallas on Friday, March 11, 2022. Visitation will occur from 10:00-11:00am with a funeral mass at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) to find a solution for the disease that took away his sweet aunt, his beloved mother and his two precious sisters.