FAIRFIELD BAY, Ark. — Henry Frederick McCourt, who was born Nov. 4, 1930, in Memphis, Tennessee, passed away peacefully Sept. 21, 2019, at Indian Rock Village in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, after a long illness. He is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart he married in 1949, and last July they had just celebrated 70 years of happy marriage.
Their three surviving children were born and raised in Greenville, Frederick (Rick) McCourt Jr., (Denise), of Manhattan, Montana, Everett Lee McCourt, who resides in New York, New York, and Marian Alsha Venus McCourt (Andy), of Lake Village Arkansas.
Longtime residents of Greenville, Fred’s parents were William Everett McCourt Sr. and Venus Banker McCourt. His three siblings were Margaret McCourt Kent, W.E. (Buddy) McCourt, and Donna McCourt Schmitt, all deceased, with a number of children, close nephews and nieces remaining. All the McCourts were a tight clan in Greenville through the 1970s and remain so despite relocating in this country and Europe.
Fred, a.k.a. Henry, as he preferred to be addressed later in his life, owned and operated McMillan’s Supply Company, a machine welding and supply business that served Greenville and beyond. He was sole owner of one of the first computer data programming services in the state of Mississippi as far back as 1972. During this period, he also served as president of the Greenville school board and earlier on as vice-president of the Greenville Bank (1947-1957), after which he became general manager of the Greenville Gravel Company until 1967. He eventually sold his business and retired to the Ozark mountains with his wife Joan in 1996.
In Fairfield Bay, along with fellow community organizers, Fred and Joan were co-founders and major contributors to projects such as the Hart Center, a regional fitness and sports facility. After many years as active members of the Greenville Presbyterian Church, they joined Kirk of the Hill Presbyterian in Fairfield Bay. Fred also served as a volunteer for the emergency ambulance service upon arrival while assisting in various other community organizations.
Besides enjoying cars and photography, Fred and Joan enjoyed travel in their RV, managing to cover all 50 states while frequently befriending fellow travelers and always lending a hand to anyone in need. Fred was an expert in many fields and was a marvel to friends and strangers alike as he was quick on the draw to help solve any financial, mechanical or technical quandaries presented. If he didn’t know how to fix it, he knew someone who did.
Drafted into the army in 1953, he served two years in Korea with the 2nd and 7th U.S. Army infantry and was honorably discharged with rank of Sergeant. As a younger man, he worked at the Marion Parlor next to a popular movie haunt of the older Mississippi Delta generation, the Paramount Theatre. Fred was a pillar of his community wherever he lived and will be sorely missed by all his family and friends around the world.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Presbyterian Kirk of the Hills, Fairfield Bay. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Presbyterian Kirk of the Hills or to the charity of their choice.