Robert W. Hankla age 81 of Dyer passed away on Sunday March 22, 2020.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years; Charlotte Hankla, children; Cynthia (Kenneth) Thomas, Tamara (Michael) Gulley, Rebecca (Brad) Rogers, and Scott (Cristi) Hankla, grandchildren; Sgt.Sean MyGrants, Garrett MyGrants, Zachary Thomas, Caitrina Litke, Jessica Mehok, Brian Gulley, Kristen Gulley, Arica Graham, Cpt. John Rogers, Hannah Carpenter, Amber Horner, Sarah Rogers, Mitchell Rogers, Faith Rogers, Isaac Rogers, and Jillian Hankla, great grandchildren; Calvin MyGrants, Adeline MyGrants, Ensley Litke, Julia, Jenna, James and John Mehok, Madelyn, Emma, Jack and Luke Gulley, Casen, Trey, Ayden, and Elle Graham, brothers; Rev. Joe Hankla, Harold Dean Hankla, Richard (Joyce) Hankla, and by his sister Betsie Stokes.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Amos and Opal Hankla, siblings; Juanita Mays, Martha Warr, Amos Hankla, and grandson Levi Thomas
Memorial services will be held at a later date at Hope Springs Church, Griffith. Inurnment will be at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens in Schererville.
His daughter wrote her dad a letter as his obituary.
As in II Timothy 4:7
You have fought the good fight.
You have finished the race.
You have kept the faith.
I can see you vividly just coming home from the mill.
Red Wing work boots.
Normally, I'd unlace these for you, and yank them off. I'd pull with all my might and sometimes topple backwards.
But this day had a different plan for them.
This day your work boots became running shoes.
A young whipper- snapper neighbor from a few doors down was hanging out on our front sidewalk.
Donnie was as tall, lean and cocky as you were stout and stocky.
You dad are tall in character but not in height, and definitely not in leg length.
Mom had to hem all your pants before you could wear them.
Somehow, the topic of speed and racing came up. Of course, a challenge emerged from the two male egos. You merely set down your work gear and metal lunch box, while Donnie was most likely clad in shorts and tennies.
The starting line was set with a rock drawing on the sidewalk.
With daughters at each end, arms dropped for the sound of the gun, and feet set into motion.
You had quite a cheering section. Your legs went three times as fast as Donnie's seemingly six-foot legs trod along. It was a clean sweep. You put your legs where Donnie's mouth was. I believe a lesson you learned from your dad's quiet and confident, wisdom and wit.
You looked ten-foot-tall to me that day, as you have each day before and after. You didn't feel the need to boast of your abilities, you just went to work.
You worked long and hard...
on Chicago skyscrapers as an ironworker,
on installing Minuteman Missiles in the early 60's in South Dakota during the Cold War
on bridge construction,
on the First Baptist Church of Griffith deacon board,
on wrestling with your salvation,
on your garden tomatoes,
on balancing your checkbook to the penny,
on helping on your truck farm as a boy when your dad called out of your one room schoolhouse in Lick Creek, IL,
on training up your own son, Scott as your right-hand helper,
on baiting the hook for each of your kids, grandkids and great grandkids,
on word searches and jigsaw puzzles,
on picking your favorite ball cap,
on square dance calls and line dances,
on looking "sharp as a show dog,"
on Shanghai Rummy, Canasta, Rook and charades,
on enjoying mom's Sunday roasts and fabulous cooking,
on setting up tents, pop-up campers, and wintering in your fifth wheel in Florida,
on catching the biggest Crappie in Lake Okeechobee,
on practical joking,
on being the ultimate fixer-upper, procrastinator and napper,
on riding the beam on the job (before OSHA) to catch a parakeet we named Pretty Blue who would sit on your shoulder and give you kisses,
Your hard work is done.
God takes it from here.
So appropriate. As God always is. He wrote the words for you as you were ushered into heaven. Your mouth could not speak as I heard your last breath. Yet God spoke your words thousands of years ago through his servant David in Psalm 107:6.
Dad, you cried to the Lord in your trouble and God delivered you.
He delivered you from your distress.
In Revelation 21 we learn:
God will wipe our tears when you're gone.
Where you are now, there is no more death, or mourning, or pain.
Former things have passed away and you are made brand new!
God said to you:
It is done.
In your thirst and dehydration, I will give you water from the Spring of Life.
I am the Alpha and the Omega.
I am the beginning and end of your race.
Just as you beat Donnie in your sidewalk race,
You, Wayne Hankla, have conquered the challenges of this world with my gift of salvation, and my heritage as being called my son.
Welcome Home Son!
You have run the race to the ultimate finish line,
to My Home in heaven which has no end!
Donations can be made to time in prayer lifting up family and friends.
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