Henry Grady Hollingsworth, Jr., of 222 South Main Street, Due West, the son of Henry Grady Hollingsworth, Sr. and Lois Sheppard Hollingsworth died on December 18, 2016 at HospiceCare of the Piedmont in Greenwood. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife of seventy-two years, Matetrell Hopper Hollingsworth, his son, Robert Lee "Bob" Hollingsworth and two sisters: Evelyn Mendenhall and Norma Napper.
Surviving his death are his nieces Norma Shockey, Martha Mendenhall and Lois Mendenhall. Born in Greenville, he grew up in Great Falls, South Carolina and attended Clemson University. During his sophomore year, 1942-43, he joined the United States Navy and successfully completed the Midshipman School at Northwestern University as an Ensign. He and Matetrell were married before his ship sailed off to war.
He was assigned to Landing Ship Tank (LST) 691 that experienced action at Anawetok, Saipan and Okinawa, served as a supply vessel at Leyte Gulf, the Philippines and the New Hebrides and trained for the anticipated invasion of Japan.
In 1946 Henry and Matetrell returned to Clemson where Bob was born in 1947. Henry graduated from Clemson and his first position was as a mathematics and industrial arts teacher at Greenwood High School. He spent two years at Walterboro High School as a teacher and coach, and then returned to Greenwood High School as a teacher and coach. Henry earned a Masters Degree from Clemson, was hired as Principal of Fountain Inn High School and, after two years became the Principal of Seneca High School, a position he held for six years.
In 1961 Henry was employed by the State Department of Education in Columbia where he spent the next twenty-six years of his life. He initially served as director of general education, but eventually had four other positions in the Education Department: director of general education, director of adjunct education, deputy superintendent for budgeting and auditing and deputy superintendent for finance and operations. Even though his occupation demanded long hours of work, Henry managed to earn a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina and helped implement the landmark Educational Improvement Act of 1983. He enjoyed a regional reputation in education circles as evidenced by his 1983 selection as President of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, the agency that accredits all schools, colleges and universities in the South.
In 1987 Henry was recruited by Erskine College to chair its Department of Education. Two years later the Board of Trustees appointed Henry as Interim President of Erskine. He served the institution well during the 1989-90 year, and then returned to the faculty. Clemson University recognized Henry as a "Centennial Outstanding Graduate," and Erskine College made him an honorary Alumnus and bestowed upon him the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award.
Henry and Matetrell belonged to the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. His faith was evident through his service to church and community where Henry served as Elder and Vice-Moderator of the Session. Matetrell died on April 30, 2016, a blow that left Henry inconsolable.
Henry acquired equanimity during World War Two on LST 691. He faced a ferocious human enemy and devastating Typhoons. Like others from the Greatest Generation he inculcated within himself cooperation and team building to pave the way to victory. He knew many servicemen who did not survive the conflict. This awareness caused him, along with millions of his peers, to devote their lives to creating a better society out of a sense of responsibility to those who did not come home. He was tenaciously loyal to his friends and was a kind, loving and gentle mentor to all with whom he came in contact. Henry was a consummate gentleman and he and his Lady made a mark on the hearts of all they knew.
Services will be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Due West ARP Church, 112 North Main Street, Due West with Rev. Calvin Draffin and Dr. Robby Bell officiating.
Visitation will be prior to the service from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. in the church Sanctuary with burial in the Due West ARP Church Cemetery following the service.
Memorials may be made to the Due West ARP Church, P. O. Box 397, Due West, SC 29639.
The family is at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tracy Carter, 8 Dogwood Drive, Due West.