Independents

Henne Jewelers Patriarch Jack Henne Dies at 92

IndependentsSep 09, 2022

Henne Jewelers Patriarch Jack Henne Dies at 92

Henne, the third generation to helm the Pittsburgh store, is remembered for his humor, humility and generosity.

Jack Henne with his wife of 56 years, Nancy, at Henne Jewelers in Pittsburgh. The third-generation jeweler died Monday, Sept. 5 at age 92.
Pittsburgh—John “Jack” Robert Henne, the longtime head of Henne Jewelers known for being humble and giving, died Monday.
 
He was 92. 
 
A Pittsburgh native born into the jewelry industry, Jack left home to serve on the U.S.S. Fulton, a ship that serviced submarines, during the Korean War. 
 
After the war, he returned to Pittsburgh to work alongside his father, R.G. “Gerry” Henne, in the family jewelry business Gerry’s father, Rudolf Joseph Henne, founded in 1887. 
 
During his tenure, Jack made Henne Jewelers a pillar of Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods, first in East Liberty then in Shadyside, where he served as president of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce.
 
Jack also was heavily involved in the Pennsylvania Jewelers Association and in his time, was instrumental in making it one of the strongest jeweler associations in the country.
 
After he retired, he passed the business down to his daughters, Anne and Meg, and his son, John Henne, who eventually bought out his sisters to become the store’s sole owner.  
 
In a statement shared with National Jeweler, Henne Jewelers said its patriarch was known for his “quick wit, quiet philanthropy, and impactful humility.” His integrity and generosity “continue to be hallmarks of the Henne family legacy.” 
 
In 2017, when John was being inducted into National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame, he said of all the expertise he’s solicited from jewelry friends and colleagues over the years, the lessons he learned from his father resonate the most. 

The most valuable of those lessons was “to always do what’s right, even when it hurts.”
 
Jack Henne, center, with (from left) his son John, wife Nancy, grandson Luke, and daughter-in-law Dara Henne
Jack Henne, center, with (from left) his son John, wife Nancy, grandson Luke, and daughter-in-law Dara Henne

Outside of the jewelry industry, Jack and his wife of 56 years, Nancy, were passionate about supporting strong marriages, spending nearly 20 years mentoring younger couples. 
 
They also were devoted to living a life of faith. Jack served on the boards of the Imani Christian Academy and the Garfield Jubilee Association, a local nonprofit focused on community development.  
 
In addition to his wife and three children, Jack is survived by eight grandchildren: Hunter, Kathryn, Sydney, Jack, Sam, Luke, Mark and Clark.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Gerry Henne, as well as his siblings, Father Paul Henne and Peggy (Paul) Oldam.
 
Friends and family will celebrate his life Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. at McCabe Brothers Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut St. in Pittsburgh. A private burial will follow on Saturday. 
 
Contributions in Henne’s memory may be made to The Light of Life Rescue Mission or the Imani Christian Academy.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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