MARION — Marion resident and businessman Henry Mitchell passed at 3:20 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Heartland Regional Medical Center, Marion, at the age of 89 years and 11 months.

Henry was born Oct. 23, 1927, in Mitchellsville in Saline County, the son of Ida Mae Keneipp and Stephen F. Mitchell.

Henry was united in marriage to Wanda G. Strobel on June 27, 1948, in Harrisburg First Baptist Church.

Upon graduation from high school in Harrisburg, he attended University of Illinois until he enlisted in the Navy. Henry was sworn in on V-J Day in 1945 and served nine months. He later enlisted again in the Navy (1955) and enrolled in Officers' Candidate School in Rhode Island where he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy and assigned to the Sea Bees in California. From there he was sent to Japan until he finished his tour of duty in 1958.

Henry attended SIU and then finished his degree in civil engineering at the University of Arizona. Later he again attended the University of Illinois where he received his master's degree in civil engineering and did further graduate work.

Henry worked at the State Highway Department in Carbondale, the architects’ office at SIU, and had his consulting engineer business in Carbondale. He then set up his office for engineering testing laboratories. Later he started in the construction business and installed the water lines for Rend Lake Water District. He also installed water and sewer lines in Ohio and all over Southern Illinois.

He retired from the construction business and lived in Florida for a while. Retirement didn't last long and he moved back to Marion, where he built motels and operated and owned them for a number of years. He also owned motels in Indiana and in Springfield, Illinois. He also built the Twenties Hideout in Marion and operated that for several years as well as one in Springfield and another restaurant in Fairview Heights.

Henry was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Nina Gullett. He is survived by two sisters Lela (Delmar) Ewell and Phyllis (Charles) Hankins

Also surviving Henry are his wife of 69 years, Wanda; their children, Teddi (Doug) Grindberg of Des Moines, Iowa, Steve (Patty) Mitchell of Marion and Stasia (Tony) Shoemaker of Vienna; grandchildren, Nathan Reeder, Graham (Brenda) Reeder, Harry (Kezia) Reeder, Michal (Scott) MacDonald and Joshua (Christina) Mitchell; and great-grandchildren, Kaden and William Reeder, Malachi and Adelaide MacDonald, and Annamarie Allard.

Henry was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Marion and attended Kissimmee First Baptist Church while living in Florida.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Blue Funeral Home in Marion. The Rev. Joshua Mitchell will officiate. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion. Military rites will be performed at the graveside by the Marion VFW and American Legion Posts with assistance from the U.S. Navy. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 at the funeral home.

Memorial donations are suggested to Lighthouse Shelter or Hospice of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at Blue Funeral Home, 1704 N. Court St., Marion, IL 62959. For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, visit

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