Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Chris Henes, Terrier (1950-2022)


The Terrier Hockey Community suffered a heart-breaking loss last Saturday with the passing of Chris Henes, just a few weeks shy of his 72nd birthday. He passed peacefully at home after a five-year battle with Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia.

Chris was the manager of the Jack Kelley-coached 1971 and 1972 national championship teams, a long-time and very active member of The Friends of BU Hockey and, for decades, the glue of the BU Hockey alumni community. 

He leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Peggy, sons Brian and Charlie, daughter Amy, son-in-law Stephen, granddaughter Ophelia and so very many friends.

BU will recognize Chris and note his passing during Friday's game at Agganis Arena against Northeastern.

Jack Parker likes to say that he has “two daughters and 200 sons.” Chris had three children and 200 brothers. As Jack would point out, even after leaving BU, Chris “always was the ‘manager’ for that group of guys and anyone who played for BU.”

In 1971 and 1972, Parker added, “Chris was the student manager. But he was so much more than that. It was as if he was the assistant general manager of the club. I was always amazed at how much Jack Kelley relied on Chris.”

                                 The Mentor and The Colonel

A freshman in the fall of 1971, Vic Stanfield recalled,”
Chris was the best. I remember the first day I was at BU. He was waiting for me. He knew my name, my scoring record, how my junior team did, everything about me. He was a special man."

More than a life-long friend to all Terriers, he made a point of getting to know their families, as well. When there was a milestone event in the hockey alumni family—a wedding, a birth, a reunion, the passing of a player or a player’s parent—Chris kept his brothers informed and connected. He didn’t play golf, but rarely missed the annual alumni golf tournament.

Among his favorite events were the reunions of the ’71 and ’72 NCAA title teams.

       Chris, far right in the top row, next to the late Bob Crocker

When Dan Brady was injured during the 1971 ECAC consolation game against Cornell (won by BU) it was Chris who drove the netminder to the emergency room.

In 1972, when the post-championship-game celebrating at the Hotel Sonesta got, shall we say, a little out of hand, Chris made sure the players were out the door before the constabulary arrived on the scene.

A Jack of all trades, Chris also served as the public address announcer for the initial games at Walter Brown Arena in the fall of 1972 and in later years. His trademark with a very elongated “one minute left to play in the period.”

When Kelley left BU to head the New England Whalers in the brand-new WHA, Chris turned "pro" with him, serving as team statistician. The Whalers won the initial AVCO Cup title, so Chris had a hand in three consecutive championship seasons, along with Kelley, Jake Danby and the late Ric Jordan.

A CAS ’73 graduate, Chris would go to law school at Suffolk University, receiving a degree in 1980 and entering private practice. And he began another great passion, military service.

Chris served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, including as a Judge Advocate General's Corps officer, and retired as a Colonel after more than 40 years of honorable service. And he took on a similar "den father" role to his brothers-in-arms as he did with the Terriers.

Besides his involvement with BU hockey, Chris later would serve as a part-time statistician at New England Patriot games from 1981 to 2019.

Some other thoughts and remembrances from the BU hockey community:

      Tim Regan, Jack Kelley, Chris Henes, John Grady

Chris, along with his parents, Charlie & Angie, were the most wonderful. welcoming family you could ever imagine when it came to new freshman arriving at BU. They immediate made you feel welcome. For many of us who came from a distance they were in many ways our family away from home. Looked forward to every trip to their house, great food, great friends, and the "oozo" that Charlie made at home and offered, was something special. Never asked for a thing. That was the Henes family!!! Gracious, warming, and like Chris, very much into BU hockey. I will never forget them!!  Jake Danby, Captain BU NCAA Champs 1971 & 1972

Parents dropped me off and the first person to greet me in the lobby of Rich Hall was Chris. Helped me check in and two hours later he had Kenny Kuzyk and myself tucked into the corner booth at The Dugout, meeting Jimmy O'Keefe and his band of renown! Won’t ever forget his kindness. Peter Brown, 1975-76 Captain

I was an assistant coach for Jack Kelley from ‘69-‘70 to ‘71- ‘72 and Chris was the student manager. But he was so much more than that. It was as if he was the assistant general manager of the club. I was always amazed at how much Jack relied on Chris. When Jack left to go to the Whalers, he hired Chris to go with him. 

Chris went on with his life but always was the “manager” for that group of guys and anyone who played for BU. I had a lot of great student managers, both men and women, and they were always measured against the Chris Henes model; a real tough comparison. He will be missed but fondly remembered by so many of us.  Jack Parker

He set the standard for all Terrier hockey managers that followed.   Generous with his time and knowledge of all things BU Hockey and beyond.   Coach Kelley has an integral part of his program and the preservation of it's legacy back to assist him once again.    May God Bless And Keep The Colonel. Bernie Corbett

And from one long-time Terrier fan and Roundtable regular: "Chris had the unique ability to treat everyone like a long-lost friend. Truly one of the good ones." 

A personal note: Chris and I reconnected after a long period in 1995, running into each other with our sons at a hockey pin exhibit at the NCAA finals in Providence. A friendship was renewed and flourished.

When this blog was begun in 2006, Chris became a contributor and an invaluable source of BU hockey history knowledge. He also was my partner in launching and organizing the BU Hockey Summer Roundtable events for a dozen years.

When my daughter married a U.S. Army officer, Chris became my “military-ese translator,” regularly inquired about my son-in-law’s career and even mailed my daughter a book for newbie Army wives to help her with the duties of a commander’s wife. That was so Chris.

I’m quite certain dozens of people could share similar stories about the Colonel. Please add a comment below if you'd like.

Chris Henes. Gone far too soon. May his memory be a blessing.

Visitation in Westwood is Thursday and the funeral in Weston is Friday. Details.



Peter k Thornton said...

It was an excellent post Steve and some are unaware Chris was the stats man for
The NE Patriots for many years. Great Terrier.
Peter Thornton SED (72)

Defkit said...

Chris was such a warm and welcoming individual. I met him much later than his official Terrier duties, but he treated me as if we had been friends for decades. In a time of constant distractions and a life where everything seems rushed, Chris was a true active listener who made sure my interactions with him were true connections. We need more people like Chris.

Unknown said...

Chris has been an amazing friend since I first met him in September of 1968 when we both arrived as freshman at BU. He was the ultimate BU hockey guy for the next 54 years. It was truly a pleasure to see him at BU games over the years or at the annual luncheon and have the opportunity to " just catch up " A wonderful husband, father and friend, who will be missed by all but never forgotten. Bob Murray

lwd14 said...

I first met Chris at McHugh Forum at Boston College in 1967.I was a freshman, and it was my first game playing Boston College. I was carrying my equipment bag through the lobby and this young man approached me and introduced himself. It was Chris and he let me know he was going to BU in the fall, and he wanted to be a manager for the hockey team. We had a nice chat and as I walked to the dressing room thinking, how could he ever be a manager. I was coming from Canada and if you were the manager, you pretty much ran the hockey team.
Chris has touched so many, he will always be with us. Rest in peace my friend and good luck in your new position, Boston University hockey manager in Heaven. Larry Davenport

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