Paul Henkel was born in Mytschew, Rowno, Poland on January 26, 1934. He was the son of Emmanuel Henkel and Lydia Mertin. Emmanuel remarried in 1943, during WWII, after he lost his first wife. At that time Paul had three sisters: Wanda, Herta, and Elfriede (Elfie).
When Paul was a very young man, he was able to escape Eastern Germany. Sadly, he was not to see his dad, Emmanuel, who remained in Eastern Germany, for another 25 years.
In 1956 Paul immigrated to Canada from Bremerhaven, Western Germany, landing in Halifax, Canada on June 12th, eventually arriving in Alberta. He was sponsored by his Uncle Ludwig and Aunt Lydia, in Trochu, Alberta.
Paul gained employment at Maple Leaf Mills Grain Elevator in 1956 and in February 1962 he was appointed foreman. During that period, he learned English, acquired a driver’s license, and became a Canadian citizen (1961). He was proud to be a Canadian and even kept the words to the national anthem in his safebox.
On May 5, 1962, he married Hedwig Adam, and they moved to Edmonton, Alberta. There, they raised four children Diana, Annette, Liana, and Gordon. Paul owned his own business, custom building homes. He also drew blueprints and built furniture. The family faithfully attended Central Baptist Church where Paul served as an Usher for many years, as well as being a Trustee. Service was always an important part of worship to Paul. Paul was already a Christian when he came to Canada, having professed his faith in Jesus Christ on December 12, 1954, in Mannheim, Germany. His life verse was “Finally Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” Eph. 6:10
After Paul’s children were grown and married, he and Hedwig moved to Creston BC where they lived for 24 years. They attended Creston Baptist. He was known to pop in during the week just to say hello to the pastors. In his retirement years he built the church library shelves and footrests. When dementia took too strong a hold of Paul and Hedwig, they moved back to Edmonton, where both ended up in care facilities. Paul eventually succumbed to complications with COVID at the age of 88. He died February 27, 2022, at the Leduc Hospital.
Paul will be greatly missed by his 4 children and their spouses: Diane and Edward Klettke, Annette and Doug Rose, Liana Henkel, Gordon, and Valerie Henkel; as well as 8 grandchildren: Micah Klettke (Aida Ahmadi), Justine Klettke, Brandon Rose (Chelsea), Danielle Rose (Brandon Bowles), Olivia Henkel-Mactavish, Julia Henkel-Mactavish, Zachary Henkel, and Ashleigh Den Otter (Josh). Paul was also blessed with 6 great-grandchildren: Shepard, Malachi, Benjamin, Grayson, Emmeline, and Charleise.