Wilson passed away one week before season got underway

Contributed photo
Members of the Henning trap team took a ceremonial first shot in honor of longtime volunteer and coach Glenn Wilson during the opening night of shooting in April.

By Chad Koenen


There was a certain feeling of emptiness when the Henning trap team opened their season on April 23. 

Glenn Wilson, who has been instrumental in helping with the Henning trap team and the Henning Rifle Range through the years, passed away less-than a week before the first shots were fired this season. 

“Glenn spent many practices and events with us loading clay targets, pulling for the kids and offering shooting advice to the shooters. He was also one of the kids’ biggest cheerleaders.”

Dakota Aeling, Henning trap team coach

In a sign of unity, the students of the trap team approached the shooting line and let out of final shot in honor of the longtime volunteer, cheerleader and advocate for the students during their first night of trap league in April. 

Aeling said Wilson and other volunteers like Jim Strege would oftentimes be some of the first people at the rifle range each week. They helped to get the trap house ready, make sure the shooting line was cleared and were eager to help out however possible to make the experience one that students will remember. 

With school winding down each spring, as well as being a coach for baseball on top of his other responsibilities, Aeling said having a person who was so willing to help the students get ready for trap was a big asset to the team and rifle range as a whole. 

“After I took over the team in 2018 I remember arriving at the range to find Glenn, either by himself or with Jim Strege, down in the trap house already,” he said. “They would have the thrower reloaded with clays and everything else set up and ready to go. This pattern continued throughout the years, it’s almost as if Glenn knew how busy spring was for me with coaching baseball, trap, a busy schedule at school and trying to balance my family time. But I think mostly that he just loved to help and was so excited for the kids to have this opportunity to do something that he loved. It is something that I will be forever grateful for.”

As the trap team continued to grow through the years, Wilson took pride in how much the students improved at the rifle range. The team continues to grow in numbers and Aeling said their scores continue to improve as a result of the help of local volunteers like Wilson. 

“Glenn’s knowledge and passion for shooting helped shape some of our best shooters here in Henning. I think the most rewarding thing for Glenn was when the students got older and started shooting in the summers alongside him. I remember a time when Mikayla Leach, Jason Haugen and Makena Kenyon were shooting one summer night. I was chatting with Glenn and all he could do was smile, he was so proud of them and even me, when I knew deep down that our entire staff had some part in shaping these young men and women.”

Dakota Aeling

In addition to his help with the Henning School trap team, Wilson was a staple in the adult trap league at the rifle range. He was a part of a number of league championships through the years and was an avid volunteer at the rifle range.

Wilson passed away on April 17, at the age of 77-years-old.