In Memory



Charles R. Heno

Charlie was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 18, 1945, to Lois Sue Smith Heno and Charles T. Heno.  He died at home in Covington, Louisiana, surrounded by his children and former wife on September 30, 2016, at the age of 71.

Charlie graduated from El Campo High School in 1963.  He graduated from Southwest Texas in San Marcos and then continued his studies at Texas A & M in College Station to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. 

Charlie served in the Army National Guard for six years.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents. 

Survivors include his daughter Sarah Heno Kelley and her husband Chance Kelley, of Abita Springs, Louisiana; daughter Katie Heno, of Houston, Texas; son, Jake Heno, of Mandeville, Louisiana.  He is survived by one granddaughter, Charlie Kate Kelley, of Abita Springs, Louisiana.

He is also survived by his two sisters, Cathy Heno Suffel of El Campo and Mary Jane Heno Brownell of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Charlie will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends.

Per Charlie's request there will be no funeral services held.  However, his El Campo friends would like to plan a gathering to celebrate his life and share some stories about Charlie.  That would most likely happen in November.  We will keep you informed here on the class website. 

    Charlie and daughter Katie

    Jake, Katie, Sarah

    Charlie and Tony

    Katie and Charlie

    Charlie and Katie

Charlie never joined the class website.  I have been told he didn't even own a computer.  Most of the photos displayed here were contributed by Tony and Jane.  A few wouldn't display properly, so I added them to his profile.  You can click on the link below to see the other photos. 

If you have pictures of Charlie or stories that you would like to share, you can click on the "Post Comment" link below to do so. 





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11/08/16 01:21 PM #1    

Frankie Swanson

For Charlie Heno

In the months leading to Charlie’s passing we spoke many times by phone about a multitude of subjects, the length of the calls always depending on how he was feeling at that particular time.

One evening he told me he was very tired and could not talk long.  I agreed we would keep it short. After just a few minutes, he said he had been thinking about the trips I was taking to Scotland & Ireland to play the Old Courses.

He asked if I had ever seen a statue of Robert Burns.  I replied I had seen his statue in Ayr, his birthplace,  and also in Edinburgh.

Upon hearing this, he immediately began loudly reciting Burn’s long poem “Tam O’Shanter,” in his best Scottish Gaelic brogue.  I was completely amazed!  He went on & on and as he recited, his voice got deeper and deeper and I could tell he was enjoying himself immensely.

Before I could speak, Charlie told me he had taken a Robert Burns literature class as an elective in college.  He said it was one of the best decisions he ever made.

He then explained he was the only male student in a class full of sweet, young college co-eds!  Can you imagine our Charlie in a position like that? He said he  never missed a day of class!                    



In honor of my friend Charlie, I offer the following knowing he liked it as much as I.


"On My Own Friend"

Robert Burns




An honest man here lies at rest

As e'er God with his image blest;

The friend of man, the friend of truth,

The friend of age, and guide of youth:

Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd,

Few heads with knowledge so informed:

If there's another world, he lives in bliss;

If there is none, he made the best of this.









11/09/16 08:21 AM #2    

Lynn Presley (Reed)

Charlie Heno, Rest in Peace. I will never stop missing you. Lynn

11/12/16 02:42 PM #3    

Sharyn Keinarth (Reynolds)

I have written directly to Tony, Frankie, & Lynn to thank them for gathering some of us together with the Heno family last week.  It was truly a healing time for me.  I encourage anyone who was there to put your stories in writing and post them so they can be in one place and available to his family.  The Bible is first and foremost a collection of stories and the Christian community is often referred to as “The People of the Book”.  Stories are important. Through them we celebrate life and hopefully live out of and grow into our stories.

As one of the Southside kids, I met Charlie in the first grade.  His Mom was a teacher in our school so I gave him a bit of special status, but in my mind he earned his specialness all on his own.  In the second grade he gave me a valentine (not one of those little ones that fit in the Valentine shoe box we each decorated) but one so large it required hand delivery after class.  This action warmed my heart and fueled the quiet crush I had been carrying around for him for months.  We became “special friends” and he would often ride his bike out to my house on Blue Creek Road where we would ride horses, run sprints on the gravel road behind the gin yard, and in Summer we would meet at the pool and swim and dive until our brown bodies were totally exhausted.

When the Heno family moved to the Northside, it felt like he might as well have moved to California…that’s how distant the two parts of our little town felt.  By Junior High Charlie was one of the stars and other than taking our turns as the object of the English teacher’s flying erasers, we didn’t spend much time together.   In High School I was welcomed like a sister by my adopted crowd of brothers including Charlie, Tony, Barry, Brian, & Frankie and we shared many hours either riding around or hanging out while the guys worked on their cars in the Edelstein’s driveway.

When I moved back to El Campo to teach school in 1967-68, Charlie would often drop by when visiting family and he would always bring with him that amazing quick wit to lighten up a dark day and his warmth to boost my sense of self.   He was one of the few men I have known who was willing and able to talk about the full range of being human and his depth and recognition of the mystery of life were reflections of an old soul.

Being able to gather with the Heno family and so many of our classmates to remember, laugh, and celebrate our dear friend Charlie was so healing for me.  Driving back to Austin as my Mom and I talked about the day, I was reminded of the message Jesus had for Mary Magdalene when she came to the tomb looking for him after his death.  He said for her to not look for him among the dead, but rather to look for him among the living.  What a powerful reminder that our true essence….our Spiritual being…. can be experienced in the minds, hearts, laughter, tears, and actions of those who have loved us and been loyal to us.  Being able to meet Charlie’s family felt like a two-way blessing. 

He was clearly a good Dad and his Spirit remains alive and well in all of our hearts.  I’m grateful to call him Friend and to have shared a bit of the road with him.

Sharyn Keinarth Reynolds.

11/18/16 09:21 AM #4    

Jane Newton (Reynolds)

From Bill Ellwood

Charlie Heno, being a popular guy when we were freshmen in 1960, had featured himself as our starting quarterback on the Freshman Football team that year, even though he lacked a few physical attributes that are thought to be required for that position.

But, remember this was 1960 and Charlie was thought to be a very "cool" guy in our class.

Anyway--The story goes, as best I can remember it like this:  We were headed to our first freshman football game one Wednesday or Thursday night. We were going to play Wharton or some other team over that way.

As we were passing over the old narrow Wharton bridge, our freshman football coach, E.J. Swindler "swiped" the side of the bridge--knocking the right side mirror off the bus!

Whereupon, you could hear Charlie (from the back of the bus) cry out-- "MY DADDY CAN DRIVE A BUS BETTER THAN YOU CAN!"

You could have heard a pin drop on that bus, as all the hooting and hollering immediately stopped....AND SO DID THE BUS AS WE HAD CROSSED THE BRIDGE INTO WHARTON.

Coach Swindler asked Charlie to come up to the front and, as he OPENED THE DOOR TO THE BUS-- HE ASKED CHARLIE TO STEP OFF THE BUS.


As a postscript: The team traveled on that night to our game. Today, I don't remember who we played or whether we won? Not even who took Charlie's place at quarterback?



This event, while seemingly funny, was a turning point for him and the rest of us who knew him.

Bill Ellwood

Gilbert, AZ

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