Phil Henoch - Rochester

Phil Henoch

Date of Birth: March 9, 1915

Date of Death: Nov. 6, 2012


In Phil’s own words:

"I have been a lucky man. Raised by loving parents and benefiting from wonderful aunts and uncles, including some who financed my education during the difficult Great Depression years. I naively thought that everybody had such people in their lives. Words alone can never express my gratitude for what they did for me.


After graduating with a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, I worked as a research metallurgist for Carnegie-Illinois Steel and Studebaker Aviation before joining the Navy. I attended the Naval academy, participated in the V7 program and served during World War II. I consider my Academy training one of the most influential experiences in my life. On the USS Uhlmann in the Pacific we survived typhoons, kamikaze attacks, and a destroyer collision. The USS Uhlmann ultimately earned seven battle stars.

While at the Naval Research Laboratory in Bethesda Md., I met Rickee Raitz. We married and had three children, Michael, Sandra and Jack, two lovely granddaughters and we spent 42 years together before she passed away of cancer in 1988.

My civilian career began at a canning factory in Onarga, Ill. Later, we moved to Clinton, Iowa, where I managed a news agency. The agency closed and I subsequently had a few false starts. Then, in Kenosha, Wis., I was asked by Melvin Garb to manage one of his McDonald’s stores. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. In 1973, I was able to purchase two McDonald’s stores in Rochester. I was especially pleased to welcome my son, Jack to the company in 1981. We expanded our reach into the community and subsequently grew the business to five stores. Our partnership continued until 2001 when we sold our stores to the Lommen family, who continue a strong business tradition today.

I met Barbara Foster in 1993, we married on Aug. 25, 1995. I am a lucky man and truly thankful she came into my life.

I’ve spent much of my life trying to "pay back" all I have received. As I say, You have to put some water back in the well."

Phil demonstrated his commitment to putting water back in the well in countless ways. An Emeritus Trustee of the Ronald McDonald House, Phil led and inspired growth over three decades. Time and again, Phil said, "This House belongs to no one, this House belongs to everyone." Beyond his passion for Ronald McDonald House, Phil served the community as a board member and volunteer at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Greater Rochester Area University Center (GRAUC), Rochester Public Library Foundation, Rochester Civic Music, Rochester Area Arts, Rochester Public Schools, Rochester Senior Citizen Center, Rochester Jobs and Training, Red Cross Disaster Team, Summer Business Institute for Teachers and Charter House Resident Council. Phil was a mentor and guide to many leaders in our community.

Phil died peacefully surrounded by his family.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Rickee; and his brother, Mark. 

Phil is survived by his loving wife, Barb; his children, Michael (Sunny Masur), Sandra (Robert Schneier) and Jack; granddaughters, Katie Henoch and Kim (Jeff) Alexander; and great-grandson, Oren.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at B'nai Israel Synagogue, 621 Second Street S.W., Rochester, with Rabbi Michelle Werner officiating. Overflow parking is available at the Greek Orthodox Church, 703 W. Center Street. Burial will be held in Oakwood Cemetery following the service.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Charter House – Edwards Hall, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Ronald McDonald House Phillip and Barbara Henoch Memorial Legacy Fund.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN  55901. 507-289-3600.