Hoyt Henry Black Jr., 82, of Johnston, SC, died peacefully Oct. 10, 2021, after two days of being surrounded by family at The Palmettos Assisted Living in Greenville, SC.
To those who knew Henry and even to those who only briefly crossed his path, everyone knew one thing: His life was full-bodied and rich. It was centered on family, service to the nation as a long-serving Army National Guard sergeant major, as a respected businessman, and most of all his fierce aversion to all things “orange.” He didn’t even like the fruit. That’s one way of explaining his devotion to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Henry loved nothing more than being with his family and he always put them first. Besides rooting for the Gamecocks, Henry was an avid reader of history and enjoyed golfing, gardening, grilling, hunting, cooking, canning, and coin collecting.
Henry was generous but he also had a wry sense of humor. He never minded sharing his recipes, but always managed to “forget” one key ingredient, thus ensuring his version was always the best.
Henry was competitive but not pushy. Quick with a compliment and support he also stressed the importance of teamwork, dedication and effort. He loved watching his children and grandchildren play sports. It didn’t matter which sport – baseball, football, basketball, softball, cheerleading, soccer or even “slow motion football” in the front yard.
Henry touched lives with his kindness and humor.
He always made a point to check on people and was known for delivering homemade jellies, relishes, soupsand other goodies to Johnston residents at Christmas and on other special occasions. He was kind and loving; always giving willingly and making those around him feel important. Most of all, he made his family feel loved and safe. His infectious smile and booming laugh will live on forever.
Born May 25, 1939, Henry was the only child of the late Hoyt and Thelma Black. He grew up in Johnston, where he met his future wife, Patsy Edwards.
Henry graduated from Johnston High School and attended The Citadel before transferring to the University of South Carolina, where he graduated with a business degree. After working for Milliken & Co. in Spartanburg and later in Washington, N.C., he returned to his hometown of Johnston to manage V.E. Edwards & Bro. hardware store and Edwards Building Supply in Saluda and later Heritage Hardware in Edgefield. All along, he was a proud member of the Army National Guard, eventually serving for 28 years. He was a lifelong member of Johnston United Methodist Church. He also belonged to the Sertoma Club, Jaycees and served on the Edgefield County Senior Citizens Council.
He is survived by Patsy, his soulmate and wife of 62 years and their four children, Janet Black Pope (Charlie) of Gaithersburg, Md.; Hoyt Henry (Chip) Black III (Anita) of Greenville, S.C.; Keith Black (Lisa) of Moore S.C.; and Lori Black Cave (Kelly) of Boonville, N.C.
He was “DadDad” to 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. He also leaves behind a large extended family and an abundance of friends.
When he spoke of death and his future in Heaven, Henry knew that Kris Kristofferson’s observation in “The Pilgrim” was right. “From the rocking of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse, the going up was worth the coming down.”
A graveside service will be held at Sunset Gardens Memorial Cemetery in Johnston on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 @ 10:00 am. The service will be officiated by Henry’s oldest grandson, Daniel Black. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Johnston United Methodist Church and Caris Healthcare (Hospice) Greenville.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Mercantile Funeral Home Johnston Chapel.
Please share a memory or photo at www.edgefieldmecantilefh.com.