Jerry Lee Hennum, 68, Baudette, Minn., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 14, 2022, at his home on one of his favorite places on earth, the Rainy River.
Jerry was born in Grand Forks, N.D., on Jan. 15, 1954, to Gerald and Lila (Lundquist) Hennum. He was baptized and confirmed at Maria Lutheran Church in Kennedy, Minn. Jerry graduated from Kennedy High School. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., for one year and furthered his education by obtaining a two-year associate’s degree for finance and agriculture at the Northwest Technical Institute in East Grand Forks, Minn.
After college he obtained his commercial pilot’s license and U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License. On April 6, 1974, Jerry married LuAnn Johnson at Red River Lutheran Church in rural Kennedy. They were blessed with three children – Jaclyn, Greggory and Christopher.
His love of the lake started when he took his first boat ride at 6 months old. Starting at a young age, he spent summers at his parent’s cabin near Riverview Resort north of Baudette. His first job was dock boy at the age of 11 followed by fishing guide at age 14. In his adult years, he farmed with his brother-in-law, Charles Swanson, for a number of years. He started his 37-year resort owner career on Lake of the Woods in 1985 at Angle Inn Lodge on Oak Island. After selling Angle Inn Lodge, he went on to also own and operate Sportsman’s Lodge and Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge for many years along with various other businesses.
At the time of his death, he was one of the owners of Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Angle Inn Lodge. In his retirement, he enjoyed custom harvesting for Sugden Harvesting and driving boat for the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service.
LuAnn and his family meant the world to him. He loved spending time hunting with them and hanging out at deer camp, spending time at Oak Island, fishing off the dock, watching the grandchildren play hockey, traveling and winters in the southern U.S. He also spent time being a flag man at the Kittson County Speedway, watching NASCAR races, many trips to cheer on favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and 20-year tradition of Walleye Wednesdays at Antler Acre Deer Camp. Jerry was a very outgoing guy who lived life to the fullest. He was a guy known for his jokes, pranks and one-liners. He always told us to “Give ’er heck” or “that’s great” or to answer the phone with “yeahhhh!”
Jerry was a member of Wabanica Lutheran Church in Baudette and past member of the Red River Lutheran Church in rural Kennedy. He was a board member of the Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau and past board member of the Red River Lutheran Church and Kennedy Lions Club.
Jerry is survived by his wife, LuAnn; daughter, Jaclyn LaValla (fiancé Kevin Peters); son, Greggory (Diana) Hennum; son Christopher (Melissa) Hennum; sister, Patti (Charles) Swanson; grandchildren Cadence, Garrett, Wyatt, Estella, Avery, Maddie, Haleigh; mother-in-law, Mary Lou Johnson; brothers-in-law, Darrel (Jodi) Johnson and Peter (Polly) Johnson; sisters-in-law, Kathi Turner and Sue (Joe) Francis; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Gerald and Lila; father-in-law, Don Johnson; and brother-in-law, Kim Turner.
A funeral service was held Monday, Nov. 21 at First Lutheran Church in Baudette at 2:30 p.m. with a visitation an hour prior. There was also visitation Sunday, Nov. 20 from 3-5 p.m. at Wabanica Lutheran Church in Baudette.
If you wish, memorials can be sent to Border Bank, P.O. Box 1089, Baudette, MN 56623, made out to the Hennum Family for the Hennum Wave Buoy Fund to make Lake of the Woods a safer place for boaters or any cause that may be close to your heart.