Alexander “Lex” Ardley Henkels (April 28, 1953 – June 19, 2020) — On June 19, 2020, Lex Henkels, a beloved husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, uncle and dear friend departed this life at the age of 67, after suffering an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) brain hemorrhage.
Lex was a man of global ambition with a sense of adventure and altruism to match. Two of his best qualities were his honesty and complete lack of guile. Whether scuba diving through Bermuda shipwrecks, defending NYC subway riders from armed muggers, scaling mountains of refuse in search of solutions to Nigeria’s ewaste problem, or simply offering his coat to his son Zander on their frequent winter hikes through Fort Washington State Park with his four-legged best friend Tally, Lex personified the modern gentle-man to his last breath.
Born in Philadelphia, Lex was the eldest child of Sarah Ferree Davis and A. Ardley Henkels and loving older brother to Robert “Craig” Henkels and Suzanne “Suzy” Henkels. During his childhood, Lex honed his knack for telling jokes and his rare talent for building life-long friendships. He attended Germantown Academy and Lawrence Academy, and received his Bachelor of Science in Public Communication from Syracuse University, where he sharpened his gift for storytelling through photography.
On December 5, 1981, Lex married the love of his life, Margaret “Meg” Cullen.
Lex’s hobbies included music, kayaking, camping and Cafe Bustelo. However the true driving force in Lex’s life was his pride and devotion to his sons, Andrew “Drew” Ardley Henkels and Alexander “Zander” Ardley Henkels III. He was a wonderful father who loved to spend time traveling and exploring the great outdoors with his family.
Lex worked for the Associated Press in New York and later became a photo editor and manager for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
His interests evolved into wanting to make a more direct global impact, and so he founded Providence Trade, supporting small business enterprises in Africa and the Middle East. His daily work focused on finding sustainable clean water and solar energy solutions for those who needed it most.
In death, Lex gracefully makes one final contribution to the greatest renewable energy source of all: love. He was predeceased by his father, Ardley, his mother, Sarah, and his sister, Suzanne. He is survived by his wife Meg, his two sons, Drew and Zander, his brother Craig, his sisters-in-law Amy, Elizabeth and Joan, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Due to COVID-19, a celebration of Lex’s life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lex’s memory to the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s Stepping Up Initiative, a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. For more information, please visit https://csgjusticecenter. org/donate/.