Orlando, Florida - Jeanette Sue Sturgeon Henry, age 79, wife of Pastor James “Brother Jim” Henry, went home to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ February 4, 2019, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.
Jeanette was born February 22, 1939, in Glasgow, Kentucky, to the late Samuel and Bertha Mae Sturgeon. She earned her high school diploma from Hiseville High School. After high school, Jeanette attended Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky where she met Jim during her freshmen year of 1957. They married on December 27, 1959, and shortly thereafter they moved to New Orleans so Jim could attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She later graduated Cum Laude from Belmont University in 1969, all while caring for three children and her husband!!
Jeanette accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and was baptized at the age of 9 during Vacation Bible School at Salem Baptist Church, Cave City, Kentucky.
For nearly 60 years, Jeanette was a pastor’s wife. This journey took them to churches in Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. Jeanette possessed a graceful strength in her role as a pastor’s wife that earned her the love and admiration of the people they pastored from the smallest churches in Mississippi to the largest church in Orlando, Florida. She was a unique blend of “blue grass and classical” that allowed her to connect with people from all walks of life.
Jeanette always found a place to make her mark in ministry alongside Jim’s pastoring. She worked with children, cooked thousands of meals and led a large Sunday School class for adults during her years of ministry. She was probably best known for her love of teaching the Bible. The impact of her teaching still lingers in the lives of hundreds who are still members at First Baptist Church Orlando or have scattered to other churches around the country. She also spoke at women’s events and pastors’ wives’ events around the country. Her legacy can be marked by her receiving the Willie Turner Dawson Award for "distinct denominational contribution beyond the local church."
Jeanette’s dearest love, after Jesus and Jim, was her children and she devoted herself to their care with her time, attention, participation and unconditional love. She was fiercely committed to ensuring that her children did not grow up with the usual pressures that are often placed on pastors’ children. She guarded and protected their freedom to be the children, teenagers and eventually, the adults that God created them to be. She was always the voice of reason and the source of stability and strength for her family in the whirlwind of their exciting life!
Jeanette is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jim Henry and three children: Kate (Ira) Campbell, Betsy (Danny) de Armas, and Jim II (Tammy) Henry. She has 5 grandsons: Trey Henry and Will (Leah) Henry in Nashville, TN; Caleb (Cali) de Armas in Ft. Benning, GA; Seth (Catherine) de Armas and Asa (Kinsey) de Armas in Orlando, FL. She also has 5 great-grandchildren: Shiloh, Belle and Theodore de Armas (Caleb and Cali), SusanJane de Armas (Asa and Kinsey), Sturgeon de Armas (Seth and Catherine). Brothers Bobby Sturgeon of Cave City and Larry Sturgeon of Washington DC.
Pallbearers for Jeanette are: Caleb de Armas, Seth de Armas, Trey Henry, Asa de Armas, Will Henry and Shiloh de Armas.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested gifts to be given to the Henry-Sturgeon Presidential Preaching Scholarship Endowment at Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary,3210 E. Guasti Road, Ontario California 91761-8642; The First Academy Student Scholarship Fund, 2667 Bruton Blvd, Orlando, FL 32805; or the Jeanette Henry Ministers’ Wives Endowment Fund care of the First Orlando Foundation, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805
The family will greet friends Friday, February 15th, from 6 PM until 9 PM at First Baptist Orlando’s Henry Chapel located at 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805. The celebration of Jeanette Henry's life will be Saturday, February 16th, at 1:00 PM at First Baptist Orlando, FL, 3000 S. John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL. Doors open at 12:30 PM. The service will be streamed live at FirstOrlando.com/Henry.
A brief service at the chapel with burial to follow will take place in the historic Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN on Monday, February 18, at 11 AM.
Arrangements entrusted to Dobbs Funeral Home, Orlando, FL and Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN.