Graveside Service for Mrs. Katherine Elizabeth Driver Henry, age 93, of Decatur, Alabama will be 10:00a.m. Sunday, August 30, 2020 at Decatur City Cemetery with the Reverend Roderick Stallworth officiating and Reynolds Funeral Home directing.
Mrs. Henry departed this life on August 24, 2020 at her residence and was the sixth child of seven born on February 6, 1927 in Elkton, Tennessee to the late Rogers William Driver, Sr. and Louetta Bassham Driver.
She received her formal education from Holts Elementary School in Elkton and Bridgeforth High School in Pulaski, Tennessee. At a young age, she stood out as a leader. Because of her innate confidence and reassuring personality, her family affectionately gave her the nickname “Sis.” After high school, she attended Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned a B.S. in Elementary Education.
She began her teaching career at Giles Prospect Davis Academy. In 1951, she met Robert Edward Henry from Birmingham and were married in 1953, where they chose Decatur, Alabama as their home. Her teaching career then began in the Decatur City School system at Cherry Street Elementary, followed by Westlawn Elementary and West Decatur Elementary. She was the first Black female to teach in the school district in an all white school at West Decatur Elementary. For 43 years, she educated 2nd graders and spent her last three years before retiring as the Education Coordinator for Morgan County. She was a member of the Decatur, Alabama and National Education Association and the Retired Teacher’s Association.
Sister Henry accepted Christ at an early age at Driver’s Chapel AME Church, in Elkton, Tennessee, founded by her grandfather, George Driver. In 1953, she joined Macedonia C.P. Church where she served for 20 years and later joined her beloved King’s Memorial United Methodist Church. Over a span of 47 years, she instructed Sunday school, evening bible study, sang in the choir and coordinated vacation bible schools. She also led as President of Grace Circle and helped to organize the A.C. Banks Academy as the after school community coordinator and teacher.
Mrs. Henry was highly active in her community and was a member of the Les Belle Femmes Club, a local women’s social club. She also joined and became an active member of the Alabama Democratic Conference at the county, state and national level. She led membership drives and campaign publicity drives. Her contributions earned her the role as a delegate where she traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the inauguration of President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rogers W. and Louetta Driver; husband, Robert E. Henry Sr., son, Robert “Bobby” Henry II; brothers John Driver, Spruell Driver, Rogers Driver, George Driver, Cleophas Driver and sister Gladys Gardner.
Left to cherish her memory are: her loving daughter, Cheryl (Chuck) Coleman of Decatur; grandchildren, Charles Coleman III of Huntsville, Lauren Coleman and Christina Coleman both of Decatur and Jared Henry of Athens; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Driver of Nashville, Tennessee, Arthur Edna Henry and Brigette Faye Henry-Bennett of Birmingham, AL; one special friend, Ernestine Elliott; two dear family friends, Etta Freeman and Ross Malone all of Decatur and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
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