Henry Edward Wamsley, Jr (Beta Gamma) 1928-2009

Henry Edward Wamsley, Jr., 81, of Lake Charles, died Friday afternoon in Houston. Mr. Wamsley was born on August 6, 1928 in West Point, MS. He was reared on the campus of Mississippi State University and attended Starkville (Mississippi) High School where he lettered in football, band, swimming and diving. His swimming skills were such that he was a certified lifeguard at the Mississippi State University Pool. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. After graduation, Mr. Wamsley entered the U. S. Navy serving aboard the USS Leyte. He was selected to attend the United States Naval School of Music in Bambridge, Maryland. His principal area of studies included the trumpet and he studied to play with the Philadelphia Symphonic Orchestra. After his discharge from the U. S. Navy, Mr. Wamsley entered Louisiana State University receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at LSU he taught music and band at Mandeville High School. Mr. Wamsley received his Master’s of Music Education from Vanderhook College of Music in Chicago. Mr. Wamsley served as band director at Greenwood (MS) Junior High for eight years and Pascagoula (MS) High School for two years before coming to the Calcasieu Parish School System. He was band director at Iowa High School for thirteen years and later assistant Band Director at LaGrange Senior High School. He served as band director at Forest K. White Middle School for sixteen years. For the past eleven years, he taught band and music at Holy Family Catholic School and two of those years, he taught at St. Louis Catholic High School. Until his death, Mr. Wamsley was the oldest working teacher in Calcasieu Parish. Mr. Wamsley was a member of Trinity Baptist Church for thirty-three years and was an active member of the church orchestra. He recently joined First United Methodist Church, where he was a member of the Chancel Choir. Mr. Wamsley was a member of the Lake Charles Symphony, the Phi Mu Alpha, Symphonia, the Music Educators National Conference, and a member of the District Five Band Directors Association. He was selected as Band Director of the Year by the District Five Band Members. He is survived by his wife, Elsie Arledge Wamsley; son, Henry Edward “Trip” Wamsley, III and wife, Sarun Keller Wamsley; daughter, Laura Wamsley Towne and husband, Gerald Wallis Towne; grandchildren, Katharine Elise, David Edward and Michael Everett Towne and Alexander Edward Wamsley. Graveside services will be at 10:00 AM on Tuesday at Consolata Cemetery. A celebration of life service will be held at 4:00 PM on Tuesday afternoon at First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Richard H. Humphries and Rev. Louis Blankenbaker will officiate. Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral Home from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Monday. The family will receive friends at the church from 3:00 until 4:00 pm on Tuesday at the church. Pallbearers for the service will be Tony Atkins, Devane Dorman, Norman Janes, John Kelley, Orville Kelley, Rod Lauderdale, Charles Rue, and Jackson Schrumpf. Memorial donation in Mr. Wamsley’s memory may be made to Mississippi State Foundation Wamsley Award, PO Box 6149, Mississippi State, MS 39762

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