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Dr. Henry J. Featherston, Jr.

December 21, 1940 May 8, 2018
Dr. Henry J. Featherston, Jr.
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Obituary for Dr. Henry J. Featherston, Jr.
On May 8, 2018 Dr. Henry Joseph Featherston, Jr. (77 years old) departed this life at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, VA. Henry was born December 21, 1940 in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Mary Mays and Henry Featherston, Sr. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosa Ann Benton, of 36 years.

He began his education in the public schools of Norfolk. He received his undergraduate degree from Norfolk State College, his master’s degree from Longwood College, and his doctoral degree from American University. Henry was an elder at Zion Hill Presbyterian Church. He was the current NAACP president, treasurer of the Retired Teachers Association, and co-chairman of the Southern Dominion Health Systems Board.

Dr. Featherston came to Amelia in 1963 to teach at Russell Grove High School. He taught Math, Science, Business, and Driver Education. He also coached football and basketball. During this time, he created and taught band classes. This was the first time Black children in Amelia were taught to play instruments. He served as Science department chair, band director, and athletic director.

During desegregation, he served as an administrative assistant to the superintendent, acted as advisory specialist, and directed the Title 4 program for 2 years. Henry was an associate principal for 2 years, a co principal for 3 years, and finally in 1975 he became the principal. In 1979, the ACHS facility was erected where he remained the principal until 1991.

After this, he returned to the school board office as one of the superintendent’s assistants. He was given the title of Director of Educational Services, which included director of personnel, director of secondary education, and director of transportation. He also revised school board policies and held this position until 1996. He then became the principal at ACES for 5 years. He finally retired in 2001.

However, retirement meant nothing to a man who continued to believe in fighting to improve the quality of education for children.

He was appointed to the school board in 2006 and was later elected to the board where he became vice-chairman in 2008. He was also elected chairman of the Amelia-Nottoway Vocational Board and the VSBA Southside Regional School Board.

He has been the chairman or vice-chairman of Amelia County Industrial Development Authority and Russell Grove Alumni Association.

He leaves behind three daughters, Adrienne Redd (Carlton), Dana Brown, and Anne Weaver (Glen); five grandchildren, Tracie Coleman, Amanda Redd, Krystal Coleman, Lamont Redd, and Jaxon Weaver; two brothers, Milton Featherston (Leosia) and Jesse Featherston; one sister, Phyllis Williams (Garland); two brothers-in-law James Benton (Marianne), Kenneth Benton (Valerie); one sister-in-law, Gloria Benton Walker; other close relatives; two special friends Elaine Beard and Chris Hamlin, and a host of close friends and coworkers.

The family will receive friends on T uesday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Funeral Service Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Hope Chapel, 9661 Wayside Avenue, Amelia.

Interment Trinity Memorial Gardens, Rice.

Michael W. Hawkes Funeral Home of Amelia in charge of arrangements.
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