Long-time Volunteers Pass On

The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club recently lost three volunteers who were long time contributors to the trail and cabin experience.  Jeanne Henkel, co-overseer with her husband at the Glass House died in May.  Dennis Staiger, a cabin overseer and a regional overseer, died in July.   Charles Erik ‘Rik’ Miller passed away in August. Rik was a trail overseer for 23 years.  More on each below:

Dennis Staiger - Regional Cabins Supervisor,  Catoctin Overseer and Avid Hiker


Dennis Staiger
Photo: Sandy Staiger
by Mel Merritt
Dennis Staiger, Overseer of Catoctin Hollow Lodge died suddenly from a heart attack while working on a community project near his summer home in Hatteras, NC. Dennis had been a cabin overseer at Catoctin Cottage for many years when the decision was made for PATC to end its lease on the cottage and assume a lease on Catoctin Hollow Lodge. He and his wife Sandy worked, very closely and diligently with the Cabins Committee and many volunteers, to transform the derelict 1988 cabin to pristine condition for the enjoyment of PATC Cabin Renters in only three months time - a feat for which they received a well deserved Hawksbill Award in 2016. Dennis had also assumed the position of Regional Supervisor for the Northern District Cabins with the Cabins Committee. His skills as a Buildings Maintenance Supervisor with the Pennsylvania State Parks made him a valuable contributor who will be missed by the PATC Cabins Committee.

Dennis was born and raised in Philadelphia.  He spent some of his middle and high school years in several Navy communities including New London, Seattle, and Norfolk.  After working briefly for the Department of Agriculture, Dennis began his career at Brandywine Battlefield Park in Chadds Ford, PA, part of Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission.  Dennis and Sandy met at the Battlefield and became the caretakers of the historic house museum, the Brinton 1704 House, in Dilworthtown, PA.  In Dennis’s retirement, he became more active with the PATC and volunteering with the Hatteras Village Civic Association.  Dennis enjoyed all parts of the outside world especially hiking, camping, campfires, fishing, and hanging out on the beach; plus he was an excellent cook with a reputation for his chili and baked chicken wings.  Dennis and Sandy traveled, camped and stayed in many PATC cabins through the years before their part-time residency in Hatteras began.  They had just celebrated 20 years of marriage and 24 years together with family appropriately at Catoctin Hollow Lodge in March.  Dennis will be missed by his family and many friends.

Contributions in Dennis's honor may be made to the PATC Cabins Fund.

Jeanne Henkel - Cabin Overseer and active woman

by Mel Merritt
Jeanne Henkel served as co-overseer of the Glass House cabin along with her husband Harry for the past 18 years. The quality of their work has helped assure that the Glass House is one of the most popular and well-maintained cabins in the PATC system.

Jeanne passed away peacefully at her rural home in Longwoods, Maryland on May 21, 2017. She was an elementary echool teacher from 1971 to 1981 and worked with her husband's painting and home repair business since that time. Her interests included charity work, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, curling with the Chesapeake Curling Club, travel, and restoration of their 19th century home.

Donations may be made in Jeanne’s honor to a memorial fund to be used at the Glass House cabin.

Charles Erik ‘Rik’ Miller -- Trail Overseer


Charles Erik ‘Rik’ Miller passed away on August 17. 2017. Rik was a trail overseer for 23 years.  His family has asked that donations be made to the PATC in lieu of flowers.  Rik's obituary is here.