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Henrietta George

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Mrs. Henrietta George, June 5, 1923 - November 26, 2012 Mrs. Henrietta George, June 5, 1923 - November 26, 2012

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - One of the area's best-known figures passed away this week in Monroe.

Henrietta H. George was born June 5, 1923 in Natchitoches, La., to Benjamin Holmes and Eleanor Louise Sawyer Holmes, passing away peacefully on Monday November 26, 2012 at 1:20pm at her home. She was baptized in Jesus Name at an early age at the Catholic Church in Campti, Louisiana. She had one brother, Buddy Lloyd and one sister Dorothy Sawyer, both deceased.

In 1938 she married Charles Dewitt Scott and to this union two boys, Charles Dewitt Scott, Jr. and Judge D. Scott (deceased '07) and one daughter, Daisy Marie Scott (deceased '59) were born.

In 1938 she attended the University of Minnesota and in 1943 graduated from Southern University Summer Normal Teacher's College in Baton Rouge. She began her career in Campti, Louisiana as a third and fourth grade elementary school teacher. She taught school in Haughton and Pleasant Hill ending in 1946.

In 1947, after World War II she met and married Rev. Jessie George (deceased '83), to this union were born four sons: Jessie George, Jr. (deceased '84), Joseph Lee George, Winthrop Elton George and Sherwood George. From 1948 through 1964 she devoted much of her time to rearing her children. She pursued a brief career in accounting after studies at Northeast Louisiana State College.

Living on Adams Street across from Martin Temple C.M.E. Church Henrietta George became a constant fixture in the church, became a member, sang in the choir and taught kindergarten in the basement of her church. She continued her active membership there after moving in 1960 to Magnolia Street.

Henrietta H. George was active in the PTA, and became a fixture at Clark Elementary School, as an active participant in her sons education and conduct. In 1966 she began her work in the newspaper business. In 1968 she served as editor of the Monroe News Leader. The same year in the midst of school desegregation she resigned after the owner of the newspaper demanded her son Jessie, Jr. be removed from Wossman High School as the first black student to participate in school desegregation. The same fate waited her husband, Rev. Jessie George, Sr. as an employee of the Monroe City School System.

In 1971 Mrs. George was appointed to the Ouachita Parish Bi-racial Committee after a consent decree by the federal district court enjoining the Ouachita Parish School System "from continuing its segregative practices and issued a desegregation plan." In August 1965 black parents and students filed suit in federal district court for the desegregation of the Monroe City School System. The school board was enjoined from continuing segregative practices. A further plan was implemented in a 1973 decree.

In 1974 Henrietta Holmes George was elected to the Monroe City School Board. She served on the School Board until 1986, and was President of the Board several times at the end and at the beginning of her tenure. During her tenure she fought for equity.

Mrs. George continued actively in public service at Marbles Recreation Center and finally at Emily P. Robinson Community Center. She retired from public service in 2006.

Mrs. George leaves four sons; Charles Dewitt Scott, Jr. (Irene) Diamond Bar, Calif., Bishop J. L. George of Sicily Island, La., Sherwood L. George of Dallas, Texas and Winthrop E. George of Monroe, La., nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and a host of relatives, friends and loved ones.

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