Positively Racine County: Peter Henkes

2013-08-18T05:30:00Z 2013-11-30T18:15:02Z Positively Racine County: Peter Henkes Journal Times
August 18, 2013 5:30 am

Tell us what you do to make a positive impact on the community. I would like the community itself to decide what I do to make a positive impact. I do try to keep my business transactions local. I also believe in and do give back to the community — through volunteerism and financially.

What do you appreciate the most about Racine County? The spirit of the people of Racine. Let’s face it, we have as high an unemployment rate as any city in the country and we are in poor financial shape, yet this is not a bad place to live. This is because of the spirit of the people that reside here.

Who inspires you, and why? My late father Barney Henkes and grandfather, Amos Sieger, inspired me tremendously. They were hardworking, honest, humble gentlemen. They never expected acknowledgment or credit for the great things they accomplished.

Tell us about the greatest life lesson you have learned so far. The Golden Rule sums up everything. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

What is the last good book you read or movie you’ve seen, and what did you appreciate about it? I read “The Year of Billy Miller” this week, which is the latest book written by my Caldecott and Newbery award-winning little brother Kevin. It truly captures the essence of being a kid — something that too many adults have forgotten.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Doing the same things I am doing now, just maybe fewer events and moving a bit slower. I will probably never retire. My retirement party will be at Marsch Meredith Funeral Home — everyone’s invited.

What would others be surprised to learn about you? I am an excellent cook.

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done? In my younger years I did a lot of adventurous (stupid) things. I jumped off cliffs into rough water, drove real fast and shot rapids and waterfalls in a canoe.

If you could have dinner with any four other people (living or dead), whom would you invite, and why? I would like to have dinner with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. The Founding Fathers amaze me with the insightfulness, courage and foresight they displayed while crafting the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. I would love to pick their brains.

Tell us about your favorite teacher. I did not have a favorite teacher. I was fortunate to have many great, yet diverse teachers, throughout my life. If I had to single one out it would be Dr. Ron Zalokar at Carthage College. Dr. Z challenged me in my anatomy and physiology courses, more so than any other teacher or professor.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received, and what made it so special? My brother and sister-in-law gave me a purebred yellow Lab puppy. He was my best (non-human) friend for 14 years.

What would you do if you won $1 million? Spend it on fun stuff, after I made a few donations to projects/groups that are dear to my heart.

The Journal Times is featuring people who make a positive impact on their community. The people highlighted in this series were nominated by Journal Times reporters and community leaders and were selected by a committee of Journal Times employees. This series — which was launched with a special section that published on June 30 — will continue through Sept. 8.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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