Bio: Henke, Sister Alice (70 Years Service - 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Henke, Villa

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 11/25/2015

Henke, Sister Alice (70 Years Service - 2015)

Sister Alice Henke celebrated her 70th year of religious profession this year. She was born in the family home in rural Thorp, Wisconsin, on October 30, 1923, the second of eight children. Her parents were dairy farmers. She attended a one-room county school in grades 1-5 and then transferred to St. Bernard’s School in Thorp, where she was taught by Servite Sisters in grades 6-8.

She graduated from Thorp High School in 1941 and joined the Servants of Mary in the fall of 1943. She became a novice on June 19, 1944, and professed first vows on June 20, 1945.

During her early years in religious life she was known as Sister Mary Antonette. She earned a BA in history from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, and an MA in history from Loyola University-Chicago. She taught in elementary schools staffed by the Servite Sisters in Washburn, Spooner, Lannon, and Ladysmith, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota; Hillside, Illinois; Carteret, New Jersey; and Weirton, West Virginia. She served as instructor of history, director of admissions, and director of alumni at Mount Senario College in Ladysmith. She was appointed the congregation’s historian in 1978 and archivist in 1981.

In 1983, she published The Branch Amid the Pines, a history of the early years of the congregation. She was an active member of the Rusk County Historical Society and the Northwestern Region of the Wisconsin Council for Local History.

A HUD residence for the elderly in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, Alice hence Villa, was named for her in recognition of her work in assisting disadvantaged rural people obtain a college education.

Sister Alice is now retired and lives at Ladysmith Care & Rehab.



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