Robert W. Henkel, a former senior editor at BusinessWeek who once lived in Port Washington, died on Feb. 16 due to complications from a stroke. He was 84.

"He had a gruff, rough exterior, but he loved people and loved helping people," said his wife, Barbara T. Vejvoda.

Born in Wayne, Neb., Henkel enrolled at the Municipal University of Omaha in 1948 and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.

During the Korean War, he served in the Navy, working as a weatherman on a destroyer. He earned two battle stars for his service, his family said.

Henkel started his print career as a reporter for the North Omaha Booster. He joined The Wall Street Journal's Chicago bureau in 1956, the same year he married Vejvoda, his college sweetheart.

Henkel later worked for The Journal in San Francisco, covering the emergence of Silicon Valley.

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In the 1960s, after a public relations stint for Fairchild Semiconductor, he became the editor of Electronic News, a trade publication. In 1966, he was hired by McGraw-Hill to establish a Washington, D.C., bureau for the company's Electronics magazine.

A year later, Henkel moved to New York to work as a senior editor for BusinessWeek, a position he held until 1985, when he returned to Electronics as editor-in-chief.

After McGraw-Hill sold Electronics in 1988, he joined CMP Publications in Manhasset. As a company vice president he helped expand coverage of the electronics industry to Europe and Asia. He lived in Port Washington between 1990 and 1993, the family said.

In 1994, Henkel retired and moved with his wife to Robbinston, Maine. For many years he continued to be a contributing editor and commentator for a variety of publications and websites reporting on the semiconductor industry.

Henkel also spent time mentoring young reporters, according to his wife. "He was very pleased when one went on to join The New York Times," she said.

He was also active in Robbinston town events, volunteering for fundraisers, the renovation of a local church and other events.

In addition to his wife, Henkel is survived by two grandsons and his daughter-in-law, Polly Henkel, of Portsmouth, N.H. He was preceded in death by his son, Robert Weyland Henkel, of Portsmouth.

Funeral services are pending.