Charlie Henrich ’69, a longtime teacher, alumnus, and a parishioner of St. Peter’s Parish and School, died Wednesday after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 69.
A Mansfield native, Charlie attended St. Peter’s School, graduating in 1969. He was a member of the Spartans 1968 State Championship Basketball Team. Henrich attended the University of Dayton and received his Masters in Theological Studies from St. Meinrad School of Theology.
In the fall of 1977, he joined the faculty at St. Peter’s High School to teach theology. With the exception of a two-year hiatus, he served in that role until this school year – a total of 41 years in the classroom.
During his tenure at St. Peter’s, he served in many additional capacities including campus chaplain, CYO advisor, and spiritual life team advisor. As campus chaplain, he developed and implemented the annual Kairos retreat for the Senior Class. Kairos was a three-day retreat held each year and allowed the members of the senior class to grow spiritually and bond as a class.
“He was a mentor to many, and possessed a compassionate heart,” said Very Rev. Gregory R. Hite, pastor and local superintendent of St. Peter’s Parish & School. “Always a gentleman, he will be missed by many within the St. Peter’s family. He generously served many students throughout the years who, will no doubt, remember his many kindnesses.”
He also coached at St. Peter’s, including girls and boys tennis, but is best known for his coaching of the Lady Spartan’s Basketball program. He started as an assistant coach to Dennis Rissler beginning in 1979 and worked alongside several head coaches, including Jeff Strang, whose classroom was next to Charlie’s for more than 25 years. He was part of teams that went to the OHSAA State Final Four six times.
Charlie is also well known for continuing the tradition of the Turkey Bowl, an annual day after Thanksgiving tradition held at Maple Lake Park. The annual event brought together many Spartan alumni and friends for a friendly game of flag football. The event celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2018.
Throughout his service at St. Peter’s, Charlie always strove to be a positive influence on his students and an exemplary representative of his Catholic faith. His forty-plus years at St. Peter’s had a tremendous impact on our community and he will be well remembered and sorely missed. We offer our prayers and condolences to his wife Natalie ’90, and his three children Luke ’19, Sophia, and Russ.
Calling hours will be on Monday, July 6 from 4 to 7 pm at Herlihy-Chambers Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 7 at 11 am. Due to the pandemic, all attendees are required to wear masks and seating will be limited. Overflow seating will be available in the church basement and the high school auditorium. The service will be streamed to both of those locations as well as online via St. Peter’s various media platforms. If you are ill or at-risk, we strongly encourage you to avoid attending in person.