A Memorial to John F. Heneka

by Laura Johnston Kohl

Former Peoples Temple member John Heneka died in February 2016. John first came to Peoples Temple in Redwood Valley with his family in the early 1970s. When his wife moved out and left the area, John remained with the community. John was always a good handyman, and would drop everything to be helpful. He stayed busy, but was never too busy to be kind. He had a goofy sort of smile, and was tender to all. He was someone who came to life in a community that valued effort and work. He wasn’t one to try to impress anyone, he just wanted to be dependable and valued.

After the Jonestown tragedy, he got together with Bea Orsot, a survivor who had been in Georgetown on November 18. They remained companions over the many years until he died this year.

(Laura Johnston Kohl, who had lived in Jonestown but was working in Georgetown on 18 November, died on 19 November 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She was 72. Her writings for this website appear here.)

Originally posted on October 7th, 2016.

Last modified on November 20th, 2019.
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