Michael E. "Mike" Henley
February 28, 1941 - September 3, 2023
Michael E. "Mike" Henley, age 82 and a longtime resident of Franklinton, passed away Sunday night September 3, 2023 at Lakeview Regional Medical Center after a lengthy illness. He was born in Bogalusa in February 28, 1941 and was a graduate of Bogalusa High School and Southeastern Louisiana University with advanced degrees in Educational Administration and supervision. He began a teaching career at Mt. Hermon High School then served well over 20 years as principal at Varando High School, Franklinton High School and Bowling Green School. Mike actively participated in sports activities locally and statewide such as the Southeast Louisiana Sports Officials Association, serving as President for seven years, and Louisiana High School Athletic Association, serving on several classification committees.
Mike also was involved in several professional and civic organizations including serving as President of the Franklinton Rotary Club, establishing the Rotary sponsored Interact Clubs at Franklinton High School and Bowling Green School. He served as Chairman of the Washington Parish Service Center of the Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross and he chaired the Education Committee of the Franklinton Chamber of Commerce. Mike helped Col, Robert Miller with the many activities of Explorer Post 313, serving as bus driver and pancake breakfast cook. In 1974, he became involved with the Washington Parish Fair Association as a member of the Board of Directors for 9 years. He later became Chairman of the Mystery Person Committee, even playing the role of mystery person himself in 2016. Mike served as Fair Vice- President then he was elected President in 1984 and 1985. Among many much needed construction projects and accomplishments with the Fair, he designed the Fair Flag and served as Flag Chairman for many years. He most recently served as Chairman for many years on the Hospitality Committee.
Mike served his community and country for 23 years in the Louisiana Army National, before retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant. He was a member of the local chapter of The Forty and Eight organization, serving in leadership roles and even a statewide role as Chef de Train for one year. For the last 12 years, Mike was active in the American Legion Magic City Post 24, serving as 1st Vice-Commander, 2nd Vice-Commander and Commander. He was a member of the Post 24 Honor Guard, which provides military funeral honors for veterans locally and throughout Louisiana. The Legion also performed honors at patriotic events on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, flag raising ceremonies and maintained the veteran section of Ponemah Cemetery in Bogalusa and provided American flags for graves throughout the area.
He was a member of Mount Hermon Baptist Church that loved to serve others, whether it was countless young students, the vast number of volunteers and attendees at the Fair, or to grieving families. Mike will be forever missed by all those that knew him.
Survived by: Wife: Jo Ann McElveen Henley of Franklinton; Children and Spouses: Lelan and Monica Henley of Covington, Sara Henley of Franklinton, Sandi and Mark Davis of Covington, Scott Schilling of Franklinton; Grandchildren: Reese Henley, Ava Henley, Toni Henley, April and Christian Brown, Dylan Varnado, Brody Schilling, Allie Schilling, Kate Schilling; Great-grandchildren: Braxton and Lily; Sisters in law and Brothers in law: Ruth Horning, Jo and Murray Duncan, Leroy and Emelda McElveen, Debbie Frazier; Also numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends
He was preceded in death by his son Bud Toney, parents Leland Wilmer “Bud” Henley and Eula Pettitt Henley and an infant sister Liza Henley.
Visitation will be at Crain Funeral Home Friday September 8th from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm and after 9:00 am on Saturday. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home chapel at 1:00 pm Saturday with Rev. Ray Wuerzer and Chaplain Paul Corse officiating. Burial with military honors, provided by American Legion Post 24, will follow in Ponemah Cemetery. Members of the Post Honor Guard will serve as pallbearers.