Henry Freeman Mountcastle
Henry Freeman Mountcastle, 95, of Providence Forge, Virginia, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
He was born on Mar. 21, 1924 in the very same small town in which he died, weighing in at a whopping 12 pounds for what the start of a long, loving life. His life was a life driven by integrity, honest hard work, a deep faith, and an insatiable curiosity about his world. To know him was to know that he exuded a delight over the great fortune he felt to be alive.
Henry was humble and generous. He was a man who knew the value of a dollar, learned early as a young boy when he put his bike out for sale with a cardboard sign that read “Will sell for $12 or $13.” His older brothers teased him with no mercy, but by the time he was 15, he had started his first venture into the business of wood, chopping firewood for sale and delivery from an old, discarded 1930’s school bus he re-purposed for hauling by cutting off the top and sides.
In 1952 when news of America’s entrance into World War II reach Providence Forge, he headed straight away to the local conscription office, volunteer, and was enlisted into the United States Army at the age of 18. He spent a year-and-a-half fighting in the Philippines as a Tech Sergeant with his comrades of Company C, 85th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He made it home with a bad case of malaria and a grateful heart.
Henry met and married Minnie, his life partner, not long after his return from the war. They were married for 68-and-a-half years.
Harry and his four brothers operated the former Mountcastle Lumber Company of Providence Forge and Newport News. He was an avid hunter, relic collector, and fisherman. Harry served his God and his community with a forthright, unwavering devotion as a church elder of Providence Forge Presbyterian Church for 25 years. He also worked as a volunteer New Kent firefighter and a school board member, and as a mentor, friend, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Harry possessed an inspiring ingenuity for creating something new form something old. His enthusiasm for the nature world along with his understanding of its preciousness were unspoken life lessons.
Harry was preceded in death by his parents, Richard E. and Sallie C. Mountcastle; his four brothers, James C. (Virginia), Richard E. Jr (Mary), George W. (Estelle), and Thomas H. (Anne); his infant sister, Dorothy; and his wife, Minnie.
He is survived by his son, Dennis (Betsy); two daughters, Loretta Mountcastle and Joan Heath (Bob); beloved addition to the family, Jeff Jones (Beth); four grandchildren, Brielle Stanley (Brian), Dustin S. Mountcastle (Kristin), Anna Claire Mountcastle, and Robert Heath III (Cindy); 13 great-grandchildren, Rachel, Grayson and Harrison Stanley, Ella Scott, Alice Anne and Collette Leigh Mountcastle, Liliana Clair Mountcastle, Rylan and August Campbell, Aleksander, Meighlan, Taylor, and James Heath; along with many special nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Vincent Funeral Home in Providence Forg5e, followed by a service at 1:30 p.m. at Providence Forge Presbyterian Church, 9130 Townsend Road, Providence Forge, Virginia. Burial will follow after in Olivet Church Cemetery, and a reception will follow at Wallace Manor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Providence Forge Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 239, Providence Forge, VA, 23140, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105. Tributes may be posted at www.vincentfh.com.