Service of Remembrance for Reed Henschel, 88 of Faith, South Dakota, will be Saturday, October 28, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the Faith Community Center. Rev. Mark Richardson will officiate and cremation will follow. His family will bury his ashes at a later date at a cemetery in his home town of Princeton, Minnesota. Visitations will be from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Faith Area Memorial Chapel on Friday, October 27 and one hour prior to the service at the Community Center on Saturday afternoon.
Reed Edward Henschel was born on Palm Sunday, March 24, 1929, in Princeton, Minnesota, son of Edward Martin Henschel and Elizabeth (Heitman) Henschel. Princeton is a farming community but also a building hub. As such, Reed was raised with a family of craftsman. His father Edward Henschel managed a lumberyard and was a skilled carpenter. His grandfather Henry Heitman was a two-time National Bricklaying Champion at the World’s Fair as well as a plastering contractor. Reed’s siblings, Charles the eldest (deceased) an engineer and contractor, Raleigh (surviving wife Ethel) second eldest worked alongside his father as well as attending drafting school (decease age at 36 from Diabetes). David (deceased and wife Bertha deceased), who later in life moved to Faith, also became a draftsman. Reed’s only surviving sibling, the youngest, Jack (surviving wife Sharon) went to an electronics school for his career in technical science and resides in Minnesota.
Reed was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Princeton, and as an adult served as a deacon. Faith was key to Reed and in his lifetime befriended people of many different faiths and races.
In Reed’s youth he became an Eagle Scout, played sports and graduated from Princeton High School in 1946. Hard work was engrained early on starting as a teenager alongside his father and brothers clearing and logging his father’s property near Princeton for residential construction. Reed then advanced to a master stone mason, bricklayer and plasterer.
The Henschel boys joined the National Guard and were called to serve when the Korean War broke out. Reed was sent to Ft. Belvoir near Washington, D.C. to an engineering school. Shortly after his sweetheart Donna Frazier, took the train from Milaca, Minnesota, for a visit. Upon her arrival a proposal was made and they were wed in Alexandria, Virginia, June 2, 1951. Reed was deployed to Korea with his brother Charles, however they served in different locations for the same battalion. Reed’s father was taken ill and he was sent home from Korea as his position of supervising building bridges however he did serve a total of 12 years and discharged as a Master Sergeant.
Reed and Donna settled down in Princeton where Reed had his own plastering business and soon began a family of three, Jana born in 1953 a professional dog groomer since 1967 and having her own business in Rice, Minnesota, Suzanne born in 1955 beginning her career in law enforcement in 1974 and currently with the Billings, Montana, Police Department and son Edward born 1960 following in his father’s footsteps as a creative and skilled mason, carpenter and master plasterer.
As a youngster Reed had a passion for horses and the west as well as being an avid hunter and began going out to Wyoming in the 1950s to hunt and established ties in the Sundance, Crook County area. In 1970 the family moved to the Aladdin, Wyoming, community where Reed continued his plastering business and as a hunting guide for Bear Lodge Outfitters near Devils Tower for several years. As a Veteran Reed was active in the Wyoming VFW and served as a Post Commander and District Commander.
Reed’s enthusiasm for new ideas led him to become the inventor of a folding stool which initially came about after his relationship with Professional World Champion Wrestler Bob Backlund of Princeton who needed something he could travel with to do the Navy step test workout. The stool resembled Devils Tower and so the “Tower Stool” company was created.
Reed and Donna moved to Faith in 1989 and opened Tower Stools on Main Street and began manufacturing folding stools and other products such as folding shooters benches, portable decoys and vaccination tables for ranch work and volleyball coach’s benches. Reed had a total of 12 patents but also continued his contracting business (Reed’s Original Interiors) doing stucco, plaster, mason tile work as well as furniture restoration. Reed retired from work July, 2017 at the age of 88.
Reed and Donna were supportive of the Faith and South Dakota community, donating stools, podiums, lecterns and other products to non-profit organizations, fundraising events as well as Reed volunteering as Santa Claus for 11 years during the holiday season in Faith. Reed also served on the Faith Museum Board and was an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Faith. He was always willing to problem solve people’s furniture or construction questions when folks came into Tower Stools or called.
Reed’s creativity will be remembered in his cowboy poetry, short stories, plastering and mason work in park fountains and wishing wells, 76 churches and cemetery gates and walls throughout the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota.
Reed passed away peacefully at his Faith residence early morning Tuesday, October 24, 2017, after a three year courageous battle with cancer.
Reed’s surviving family members include his wife Donna, Faith; son Edward Henschel (Debra), Faith; daughter Jana Kociemba (Gerard), Rice; daughter Suzanne Henschel (Mr. Kim Little), Billings; brother Jack Henschel (Sharon), Ironton, Minnesot; granddaughter Jacqi Koepp (James and daughter Piper); granddaughter Jinger McNinch (Dan and children Josh, Jeren, Jordan, Jezrah, Joeb and Jamos); granddaughter Jalia Orcena (daughters Shania, Jaia and Maleea); granddaughter Jade (children Elizabeth and Damien); grandson Ricky Fawcett (Nicole and children Broden and Brycen) and great-great grandson Noah (son of Josh McNinch) and four step-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren; two surviving sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three sibling brothers, one sibling sister (crib death).
Condolences to Donna Henschel can be sent to P.O. Box 337, Faith, SD 57626.