Douglas “Doug” Arthur Henke, age 57, of Elgin, passed away at home on June 11, 2020. He was born in Chicago on June 12, 1962.
Doug enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served March 3, 1982 to August 19,1983. He studied nuclear power and electronics at Naval Station Great Lakes and the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida.
Following his honorable discharge from military service, Doug told the Daily Herald, he “worked in accounting but either quit or lost jobs over time.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2012 from Columbia College Missouri, which has a remote campus at Elgin Community College.
In his later years, Doug did not have a permanent residence, becoming homeless in 2017. He was a longtime resident of Elgin’s “Tent City” but in recent years chose to live a more solitary life in dwellings in the woods around Elgin. Doug recorded thoughts about his experiences in his “Arthur: Notes from the edge” blog on Facebook.
His lifestyle was chronicled by the Daily Herald in 2018, when he declared, “I am not homeless. I am houseless.” He cherished his independence, and said living the houseless life made him more content than when he had “‘a normal life’ with a job and apartment.”
Doug became a vocal advocate for Elgin’s homeless community, speaking out at Elgin City Council and community meetings to address the needs of the homeless.
Friends say he offered caring guidance to homeless friends and neighbors, calming their fears and connecting them to resources for food, shelter and services.
Doug also made a difference in the lives of his “housed” friends and will be missed dearly by many who knew him.
Doug’s friends are invited to attend a public Graveside Memorial Service at 10:30 a.m. Friday August 21, 2020 at Bluff City Cemetery, 945 Bluff City Blvd, Elgin, IL 60120. The service will be officiated by Rev. Tim Perry of Nationwide Chaplains Veterans Fund and Dr. Al Keating, Elgin Police Department Senior Chaplain. The U.S. Navy will render military honors.
Per cemetery public health protocol, facemasks and social distancing by family unit are required.
Symonds-Madison Funeral Home offers special thanks to all those who donated their professional services and time to make this funeral service possible, including: Kane County Coroner Rob Russell, Twin Pines Crematory, Professional Cemetery Services, Michelotti Memorial Engraving, Memories in the Making, and many local volunteers from Operation L.O.V.E.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120. For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadison.com.