Elizabeth (Liz) Henze Theisen of Naples, FL passed away March 16, 2015. Liz was born October 2, 1937 in New York City, the fourth child of Mary Murphy Henze and Raymond Henze. She was graduated from the Academy of Mount St. Vincent in Tuxedo Park, New York where she made many life long friends and attended the College of Mount St. Vincent for one year. Her college career ended when she met Chuck Theisen, a senior at Manhattan College on a blind date. She took a bit of convincing, but Chuck finally won her over and after he finished college and received a commission in the Navy they were married on December 26, 1957.
For 57 years Liz was the epitome of the biblical wife: loving spouse, caring mother and later, strong business woman. Liz, while busy raising 4 children, always found time for volunteer work; in her children’s schools and running CCD religious education programs, even building one from the ground up at one base. Liz was especially committed to her work at the Navy Relief Society where she was presented the Meritorious Service Award, the highest honor given to a volunteer. In addition to thousands of hours volunteering, Liz reestablished a closed chapter at one base, recruited volunteers and helped countless young sailors.
Liz’s management skills, developed during her volunteer work, were put to good use in 1982 when Chuck retired from the Navy and they started a consulting company, HFA, Inc., with Liz as President. The company grew gradually from a staff of 6 parttime workers to a work force of over 250 employees. In 1995 Liz was named the Small Business Person of the year by the Small Business Administration. The company became the favorite supplier of Ordnance and Explosive Waste services, cleaning up left over unexploded ordnance at target ranges throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to clearing closed U.S. Army sites, HFA won contracts to clean up factory sites for Dupont, Hercules and Morton Thiokol. In the final year before they sold the company, HFA was awarded a contract by the Israeli Defense Forces to clean up a factory site at which nitro-cellulose was manufactured.
While running the company Liz still found time to mother a special needs foster child who had severe learning disabilities. After 3 years Jennifer went from a 10 year old with little cognitive development to a functioning young lady who could read and write at the 2nd grade level. Jennifer went from an angry, withdrawn little girl to a self-confident teenager.
In retirement in SW Florida Liz’s devotion to children continued when she became a Guardian ad Litem representing children removed from their homes for various family problems. She also volunteered as a tutor teaching English to Hispanic workers at Shadow Wood.
She is survived by her loving husband, Chuck; and her children, Chuck and his wife, Mo, Mary Beth, Elizabeth, and Jeanne and the joy of her life; her grandsons, Jason and Joseph.
Liz was preceded in death by her brother, Raymond; and her sister, Ursula. Her sisters, Sr. Mary Adele Henze and Catherine Henze Surlis; and many nieces and nephews, will miss Liz. Her loving, caring presence will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held, Wednesday, March 25th at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bonita Springs.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Liz’s memory to either the Sergio Jimenez Scleroderma Research Fund at Jefferson University (www.advancement.jefferson.edu & click on Memorial and Tribute Giving) or to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (www.nmcrs.org).
Published in Naples Daily News on Mar. 24, 2015
Theisen, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ [MCspouse RIP]
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I believe that Chuck is a member of the Class of 1957.
May Elizabeth Rest In Peace.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
Theisen, Chuck [MC1957]
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Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) added this request to his prayer circle.
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Message from Charles Theisen, Jr.
Thank you for your kind thoughts. We have a great Manhattan community here in SW Florida and Liz was hostess to the Pipe band members.
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