“I have realized for a long time that life is a gift, and I have tried to unwrap it carefully and prayerfully, enjoying it to the fullest.”
Henry Clayton Blount Jr., pastor, counselor, artist, author and encourager to many, died on October 27, 2020 in Alexandria, La. at the age of 94.
Henry was born to Sally and Henry Blount on Dec. 29, 1925 in Philadelphia, Miss. In 1944, he graduated from Philadelphia High School and enlisted in the Navy, serving his country in the North Atlantic. After the war, Henry prepared for his call to pastoral ministry by attending Millsaps College for undergraduate studies, followed by seminary at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He later obtained his doctorate in ministry from the Iliff School of Theology of Denver, Colo.
In 1948, Henry married the beautiful Marilyn Speede of Hattiesburg and they were the parents of five children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. For more than 60 years, he served as an ordained elder and pastor in the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, including three years as a District Superintendent. Henry served churches in Monroe, Dubach, Ruston, Opelousas, Shreveport, Welsh, Hammond, Natchitoches, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Alexandria, whereupon he retired from full time ministry in 1999. Henry’s only failing in life was retirement. He enjoyed many retirement celebrations, but calls to return to ministry continued. With each call, he accepted, serving in interim and associate pastor roles in Pineville, Deville, Lake Charles, Oakdale and other communities.
Henry was a man of extraordinary talents. He wrote a regular faith-based column for CENLA FOCUS newspaper; he was a prolific watercolor artist, ballroom dancer, master gardener, piano player, gifted counselor and an inspiring public speaker. Henry was a man of humor, joy, wisdom, sensitivity and a boundless love of people (and they loved him back). He showed tremendous compassion, always seeing the good and potential in others. Sharing the light of Christ was not a sermon talking point to Henry; it was his life.
Henry is pre-deceased by Marilyn, his wife of 57 years, and by his oldest Grandson, David Watkins. Those left to cherish and honor his memory are his wife, JoAnn; his children, Becky Watkins (Wayne) of Alexandria; Ramona Cotton (Danny) of Baton Rouge; Cindy Price of Lake Charles; Steve Blount of Lake Charles; and Chris Blount (Lori) of Madison, Miss; 12 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Henry and Marilyn Blount Scholarship Fund at Centenary College, 11 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport, LA 71104; or to the Wilson Research Foundation at Methodist Rehab Center, 1350 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave, Jackson, MS 39216.