John Henzel, age 96, died in Essex Junction, Vermont, September 19 2020. He was born October 12, 1923 in Philadelphia, the son of Catherine Price Henzel and Howard Randolph Henzel, both of Philadelphia. John married Leah Jane Thompson in 1947 and they began their life together in Ridley Park, PA.
John attended James Russell Lowell School in Olney, and graduated from Northeast High School and the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate and Masters Degree in Education. From 1956-1968 he taught vocal music at John Bartram High School and from 1968-70 at Nether Providence High School in Wallingford.
His college eduation was interrupted by WWII and the Army in 1943. He trained at Fort Benning, taking courses at Georgia Tech, and served in the ACORN Division (87th) in Europe just after the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded, received the Purple Heart, and returned in 1945 to finish his education and meet and then marry Leah.
In 1970, John and Leah moved to Vermont to start a bed and breakfast business at the StoweAway Lodge. He was the primary cook and post-dinner concert pianist until 1977 when his son Michael assumed the management of the restaurant/lodge and he returned to music leadership at various churches over the next 40 years, including Burlington Oratorio (now Choral) Society, Stowe Community Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church, Shelburne VT. In the 1950s and '60s he played organ and directed choirs at Grace Luthern Church, Norristown, St Stephen's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Covenant Methodist Church, Springfield and finally, St Asaph's Episcopal Church, Bala. In addition, for several years he was also responsible for a Thursday afternoon 15-minute radio program on WFLN about music in the school district of Philadelphia.
He is survived by daughter Linda and son John Michael, both of VT, and son Thomas of Philadelphia, seven grandsons, and seven great grandchildren; and four nephews and two nieces. In addition, step-granddaughter and husband, Emma and Micah Tompkins of Dayton, Ohio; his "adopted" family Alison McWilliams and Justin Clark of NH and Mattie Clark of NYC; and his brother Franklin of King of Prussia, PA. He was predeceased by sisters Rae Kolupaev and Mary Entrekin.
The family acknowledges the excellent care John received at Mansfield Place, Essex Junction VT during the past few years and more recently from Bayada Hospice.
Interment is September 28 in Glenwood Memorial Gardens, Broomall, PA. Please consider a donation in his memory to the music program of a school, church, or chorus.