ANSONIA - Jack Henkaline, a 1966 graduate of Ansonia High School, began writing his “memoirs” for his grandchildren 10 years ago.
“I put notes in my computer while I was traveling,” said Henkaline, who now lives in Van Wert. “I got to about eight or 10 pages and let it set, until I got started again on it. It was fun writing it and a lot of work and a lot of revisions.”
Thus, the book that was completed in 2013 by Jack, the self-appointed family activities director, started out as his own personal chronicle and evolved into a family project.
He even got his siblings, Anita (now Pearson), Jerry and Kenny involved and they have contributed to the book, The House on Hathaway Road: Where Memories Began. It’s about their lives growing up in the rural setting southwest of Ansonia.
The time period in the book begins in November 1935 and contains many stories, which they think will make readers laugh and wonder how so many unusual experiences could happen to humans from such a common family.
“The era told was when life was at a slow pace, possessions were pretty simple and times were uncomplicated,” Jack said.
Another sister, Joyce Ann Henkaline, diedOct. 24, 1943, one month and one day after her birth, and Jerry died this past June 29 at the age of 67.
Anita, a 1956 graduate of Ansonia High School, is retired and lives in Chula Vista, Calif. with husband Wally. She has three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, according to the book. She had traveled to many countries with her husband helping him serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force.
Jerry, who had lived in Minster, has a widow, Char, three children (one of whom is deceased)) and three grandchildren. A 1964 graduate of Ansonia High School, he was a previous owner of Trade Mark Designs and was active in playing golf.
Jack, who is married to the former Sharon Brown of Rossburg, lives with her in Van Wert. They have a son and four grandchildren. He is a quality manager for a manufacturer of parts, supplying major automotive companies, holds a license to sell real estate and insurance; is a licensed auctioneer in the State of Ohio; and helps his wife with her real estate company.
Ken, a 1967 Ansonia High School graduate with three children and six grandchildren, lives in Piqua with wife Julie. He is semi-retired and owner of Hair Studio on High in Piqua.
All four of them are family-oriented, with their book focusing on their parents, William H. and Olive O. (Hittle) Henkaline, to whom they dedicated it with much love and respect, and their lives from childhood to the present. Their father died on Aug. 25, 1983, at the age of 77 and their mother died April, 18, 1984, at the age of 75.
Jack tells in the book what inspired him to write a daily journal, and it’s easy reading as they relive their memories on paper. There are 12 chapters, ranging from such topics as school days in Woodington, entertainment, the recession, childhood antics, neighborhood games, friends and relatives of the family, cars, pets, the garden, clubhouse, an ice storm, baseball games, churning butter, church on Sunday and Jack’s days in the military.
It is comprised of many photographs and 270 pages of nostalgia, concluding with the Henkaline family tree.
Jack said their book can be purchased on amazon.com and on EBay.
“Or, whoever wants to, can contact me,” he said. “I’d love to talk to them.”
He can be reached via telephone at 1-419-203-2956.