September 25, 1942 - July 10, 2021

 

 

Celebrating the Life of Leslie “Les" Oren Henson, 78, of Waite Park, will be held on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Salem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud. Les passed away peacefully at Quiet Oak Hospice while resting with his wife Lynell on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Burial, with full military honors, will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls. Reverend Timothy Routh will officiate.
Family and friends can visit from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, July 19, 2021 at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud.

Les was born September 25,1942 in Owatonna, MN to Oscar and Violet (Bathel) Henson. He was the youngest of 5 (Leroy, Larry, Lyle (Butch), Lila, then Les). He graduated from Hopkins High School in 1961. Joined the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor where he met and then married Lynell Basehore on January 17,1965 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He graduated from Mankato State University in 1970. Out of school he worked for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe for many years administrating a variety of federal and state housing and economic development programs. Then moved to St. Cloud where he worked for the St. Cloud Housing and Redevelopment Authority as the Community Development Manager.

Les’s priority was his family. He always put his wife, children, and grandchildren first. Les’s main hobbies were researching his family genealogy and antiquing. Les took great pride in his career. He worked with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe developing strategies for improving land use, affordable housing and community development. He was also proud of his accomplishments with the St. Cloud Housing and Redevelopment Authority where he coordinated economic, homeless, and affordable housing developments including Veterans Affairs properties for homeless individuals. Additionally, through his work in St. Cloud he was able to work on various community organization projects including the Anne Maries battered women’s shelter, Salvation Army, three Boys and Girls Club facilities, the Whitney Senior Center, and the St. Cloud homeless shelter. Les was also a member of Kiwanis for 17 years and Whitney Senior Center Board Member for 19 years.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Lynell; children, Heidi (Troy) Doyle, LaPorte; Mark (Andrea) Henson, Marshalltown IA; grandchildren, Alexis Gardner, Freeport, Cody Gardner, St. Cloud, Alexander Melhus, Grand Rapids, Kia Henson, Waite Park, Megan Doyle, Bemidji, Amber Henson, Marshalltown, Natalie Henson, Marshalltown; great grandson Bryson Moorman, Freeport, beloved dog, Brunno, Waite Park; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, and sister.

A special thank-you goes out to his wife Lynell and granddaughter Kia, all the doctors, nurses, home care aides who cared for Les along the way and Quiet Oaks Hospice who cared for Les during his last days.