NORWALK, Conn. – Charles E. Henninger, a former Norwalk resident, died Nov. 24, with his wife of 59 years, Joan-Marie, at his side. He was 83.
Henninger was born Dec. 6, 1928, in Queens, N.Y. He graduated from the University of Georgia on a swimming scholarship in 1951. While at school, he won the Southeastern Conference's butterfly title and came in 11th at the U.S. Olympic trials.
He served in the U.S. Air Force in mid-1950s, attaining the rank of captain. After the military, he earned a master's degree at New York University in recreation. He then worked for the 52 Association in Ossining, N.Y., booking vaudeville acts and Broadway stars for disabled war veterans.
In 1962, Henninger became director of the Purchase Community House. From 1967-94, he was the director of the Greenwich Civic Center. He volunteered at Burke Rehabilitation Center for 30 years and began its recreation program in 1965.
He and his wife raised four children in Norwalk before retiring to Fort Collins, Colo., in 1994. He volunteered for Catholic Charities of Larimer County and was recognized by Congress for his work at the mission.
Henninger swam in the Senior Olympics and won seven gold medals and many other silver and bronze medals. He enjoyed traveling with his wife.
He is survived by his wife; a son, Richard, of Fort Collins, and Thomas (Heidi), of Yarmouth, Maine; a daughter, Carolyn Myers (Don), of Fort Collins; and three grandsons. He was predeceased by a daughter, Diane Rice.
A memorial Mass was celebrated Thursday in Colorado. Goes Funeral Care handled the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Catholic Charities of Larimer County.
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