Obituary: R. Peter Henrikson, Chief, EGFD (Ret.), 82

by | Jul 14, 2022

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Peter Henrikson, Chief, EGFD (Ret.), 82, of Warwick, died peacefully at home July 12. He was born July 16, 1940, in Oakland Beach. He was the son of the late Roland and Emily (Boldt) Henrikson. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Francesca W. (Walsh) Henrikson.

Peter graduated from the former Rhode Island Junior College in 1980 with an associate degree in Fire Science.

Peter retired as Fire Chief for the East Greenwich Fire District in 1991 after continuing a long and proud family tradition which included his father-in-law Chief Francis A. Walsh, NKFD; his brother-in-law Chief Roger F. Walsh, NKFD; his brother-in-law Fire Marshal Gordon M. Walsh, NKFD; his son Chief Peter F. Henrikson, EGFD; and son Asst. Fire Marshal, WFD, Christian M. Henrikson.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps he served as a patrolman for the East Greenwich Police Department for several years prior to becoming a supervisor at Brown and Sharpe manufacturing prior to his appointment as a full-time firefighter for the former East Greenwich Fire District. Peter’s service to the fire department started in 1956 as a volunteer firefighter and ended when he retired as chief in 1991.

Upon retirement Peter moved to New Hampshire where his beloved wife wanted to be. They spent 18 years there prior to returning to Rhode Island due to her declining health.

Peter is survived by daughter Susan L. Pope of West Warwick; son Peter F. Henrikson, Chief EGFD (Ret.) and his wife Kristen of Bluffton, South Carolina; daughter Mary C. Smart of Coventry; and son Christian M. Henrikson, Asst. Fire Marshal WFD (Ret.), and his wife Susan, of West Greenwich. He was the grandfather of Lauren, Rachel, Jenna, Meghan, Madelyn, Hunter and James.

Peter is also survived by his sister Nancy Worrall of Warwick and brother-in-law Gordon Walsh, Fire Marshal NKFD (Ret.) of North Kingstown. He was predeceased by his brother Richard, and sisters Lorna Yarborough, Elsie Graham, Elizabeth Whalen and Susan Dubis.

Peter was a founding member of the East Greenwich Veterans Fireman’s Association, a charter member of the East Greenwich Firefighter’s Association, and former member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Association. He was voted in as a lifetime member of the former East Greenwich Fire Department Company #1, he was the past president of the East Greenwich Veterans Fireman’s Association.

The funeral service will be Tuesday, July 19, at 10 a.m. at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. Burial will be private. Calling hours will be Monday, July 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rhode Island Chiefs Honor Flight Hub.

You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.

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Matt plain
Matt plain
July 15, 2022 6:19 am

Rest in Peace, Chief Henrikson. My prayers to the Henrikson family.

Donna RICE
Donna RICE
July 15, 2022 8:50 am

We are so sorry for your loss. May your memories help you through this difficult time.
Cliff said that he was a good friend.
Peace and Faith
Cliff and Donna Rice

July 19, 2022 10:40 am

To the family “I pray our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost…”

The company known as of KCA-713 has lost another dedicated individual who had made the commitment to serve the community in the EGVFD with pride.

Although you will be missed you will be among other dedicated individuals which include Fred, Big Jim, George, Bill, Pop, Pumpkin, Mike, Moose, Peter, Kenny, Duff and others.

From the Fireman’s Musters at Bangor, Maine; the Commonwealth; Newburyport, Mass.; Rhinebeck, N.Y., all throughout New England usually culminating with always a fully dressed EGVFD (complete with flower for lapel) as they stepped off in a parade down Main Street, East Greenwich, to head to Eldredge Field for a nearly weeks’ long activity of the Firemen’s Carnival ending with a multitude of Tubs competing in the Fireman’s Muster and ending with fireworks.

If I recall your wife volunteered in the tent where the cooking was done. Hotdogs, hamburgs, clam-cakes, clam chowder, and the smell that permeated the field were those doughboys.

Aside from weekend drills, you took two days to take me and two other Junior Volunteers to Newport Naval Base to learn how to engage tarmac jet fuel fires and above and below deck ship fuel spills.

A call to arms, a horn which would blare and would be responded to by many belonging to the EGVFD.

Let the bell on Truck 5 ring out for another who taught this Junior aside from the fun and comradeship, the commitment needed to serve the East Greenwich Community with dedication in the EGVFD. I will always be grateful and remember.

“So I’ll meet ‘im later on
At the place where ‘e is gone
Where it’s always double drill and no canteen.
‘E’ll be squattin’ on the coals
Givin’ drink to poor damned souls,
An’ I’ll get a swig in hell from …….”

Joan Larke Chadwell
Joan Larke Chadwell
July 23, 2022 2:00 pm

Condolences to family. Remember happy times with both Peter and Fran.


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