John R. Henle

December 16, 1936 - December 29, 2020

John R. Henle, age 84, of New Prague, died peacefully with his wife at his side, due to complications of Covid 19 on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at District One Hospital in Faribault.  John was born on December 16, 1936 in New Ulm to Alfred and Viola (Hofmeister) Henle.  He attended 12 years of Catholic School, graduating from Holy Trinity High School and then went on to complete his Bachelor Degree in Music from McPhail College of Music.  John married Jacqueline Connors on August 26, 1958 at Woodstock, MN.  Music and hard work defined John’s life.  He was the band director in Granada, MN and Waldorf-Pemberton, before coming to New Prague in 1965, where he built and refined the band department at NPHS.  He loved his students and not only influenced but developed friendships with them as well.  John was a dedicated musician, playing with many bands throughout his life, including the Original German Band in New Ulm.  He was especially proud of his membership with the Schells Hobos, a band that performed in parades and concerts throughout the state.  When John wasn’t making music, he was involved in building spec houses and managing rental properties, even taking a couple of years off from teaching.  The lure of the kids and the music brought him back to the career that he loved and John finally retired in 1991 from teaching.  His affable personality and ability to share stories and memories will be missed by so many.


John is survived by his wife, Jackie of New Prague; children, Shelley Sauer of Portland, OR, Jayne Wolfe of Santa Fe, NM, Tom Henle of New Prague, Stacy Henle of Corvalis, OR;  grandchildren, Holly and Tali Sauer; Sister, LeAnna Brown of St. Peter.  He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Charles Henle.


Services will be held in the spring or summer of 2021.

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Karl Tise
3 months ago

John and I taught together from my arrival at NPHS in ’73 until his retirement in ’91..he even asked me to write his letter of resignation when he decided to retire. I smiled as I read some of the earlier comments so I figured I had to write my own. I always considered John an unlikely friend, but as I look back, I realize that we shared more than German heritage–we shared a commitment to students and to performance. We did not expect perfection–though some might debate that–but we did expect students to work hard so they could take pride… Read more »

Mary Simon
4 months ago

Shelly, Jackie and Henle family, Mom and I were so sorry to hear of John’s death. May happy memories sustain you!
Mary Novotny Simon and Peggy Novotny

Shelley Sauer
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary Simon

Thank you for your sweet wishes, Mary and Peggy!

Therese Zeman
4 months ago

John Henle was definitely one of the most influential people during my school years. I remember him telling us as students that we are learning skills which will carry us through life – far beyond mastering a musical instrument. Persistence, teamwork and the thrill of accomplishment are all what I took with me in the journey of life. Rest In Peace dear friend and mentor.

Dave Chant - Band of '84
4 months ago

Mr. Henle was not only the greatest teacher I ever had, but a great friend as well. I have been asked, “what has been the hardest and most challenging class you have ever taken, including college as well?” and my answer is always the same, “High School Band”. It was not only the hardest, but the most fulfilling. Mr. Henle had the respect of every member of his band and we would constantly push ourselves to be our best, to seek out perfection, and try our best to make him proud. He was a teacher who truly loved what he… Read more »

Ryan R O'Neill
4 months ago

Mr Henle was a special guy and outstanding teacher in so many ways. As a band instructor, he taught us all many lessons. Some of them: the importance of doing your best, of working hard, and the value of staying persistent to achieve your goals. Though some could say he was strict, looking back, I really feel he was doing this to help us all prepare most of all, for life. I don’t feel it was ever just about the music. It was about helping and pushing us all to grow and be the best we possibly could. He also… Read more »

Carol (Bednar) Brause
4 months ago

Mr. Henle was my band instructor in high school. He helped to instill a love of music of all kinds that has lasted throughout my life. He taught us that hard work brings success. It was obvious that he loved teaching, music and his students. Throughout the years, when I would hear a piece of music, It would bring me back to a high school performance and remembering Mr. Henle. They both brought a smile. Rest In Peace and may the music play on.

JeNean Erickson
4 months ago

John Henle was my band instructor for four years in high school. He was tough, demanding, yet I have to say that he was one of my favorite teachers and taught me a lot, not only about music, but about life. He taught me that with hard work and persistence came reward. I treasure the great memories I have of the outstanding NPHS bands I was a member of under his tutelage. My sympathy to Jackie and the Henle family. Rest In Peace, Mr. Henle.

Last edited 4 months ago by JeNean Erickson
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