Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, October 2, 2019

SD Mines Mourns the Loss of Torger Henckel

A memorial service for Torger Henckel is set for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 5 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rapid City.  The funeral is planned for the same day at the English Lutheran Church in his hometown of Viroqua, Wisc.


The students, faculty and staff at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are mourning the loss of Torger Henckel, who passed away after a fall while hiking in the Black Elk Wilderness area of Custer State Park in the Black Hills.

Henckel represented the best of SD Mines. He was an active member of both the Mine Rescue Team and the world champion Mining and Mucking Team. His skills as a mathematician and surveyor clinched the SD Mines world championship victory at the 2018 International Collegiate Mining Games in Cornwall, England. Henckel was completing his final semester in mining engineering and set to graduate in December. He had accepted a job offer in Tucson, Ariz., with Freeport McMoRan.

He will be greatly missed on campus.  A local memorial service for Torger Henckel is set for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 5 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church which is located at 835 E Fairmont Boulevard in Rapid City.  The same day his funeral will be held at the English Lutheran Church in Torger’s hometown of Viroqua, Wisc.  More information on the service in Wisconsin is in the obituary published here.

The Henckel family is establishing memorials in Torger’s name for Custer County Search & Rescue as well as the SD Mines Mining and Mucking Team.  They request that no flowers be sent. 

SD Mines President Jim Rankin encourages any students, faculty, or staff who are finding difficulty in this loss to seek out campus counseling services, campus ministries, human resources, and other appropriate personnel as needed.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu

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