Henry Veal, Jr. was born in Milledgeville, Georgia to his proud parents, Henry and Mamie Solomon Veal, on September 29, 1925. To this union nine children were born. Henry was the third of his siblings. Katie, Annie, Mattye, Rosa and Gladys preceded him in death. Henry was baptized at an early age. He was a member and attended Friendship Baptist Church in Milledgeville.
Henry was educated in the public school system in Milledgeville and graduated from Eddy High School. He then attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia on an athletic scholarship, where he joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. From Morris Brown he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. When Henry entered college his interest was to become a medical doctor. He never had the finances for that dream. After graduation he worked several years in Atlanta, Georgia for Southern Railway. While in Atlanta, Henry played the drums for several bands in the area. He later moved to New York City where he found a job in a health related profession. He worked at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn for thirty one years, starting as a Medical Technician, progressing to the position of Bacteriologist and ended his career as a Senior Microbiologist. He retired from Kings County in 1987.
While he was at Kings County, Henry met his lovely bride-to-be, Yvonnecris Smith. He proposed to her when they visited the World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. That September they were married by Rev. Sandy F. Ray at The Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn…the rest is history! They have been married for more than forty-six years and have one son, Michael E. Veal of New York City.
Henry was always interested in the welfare of others, especially young people. He encouraged all young people, especially in his family, to get a good education, stay out of trouble and to have a vocation you enjoyed as well as an enjoyable hobby that might be financially rewarding. He was involved in mentoring high school students while working at Kings County where he received Certificates of Appreciation from New York City Board of Education’s Community School Board, District 18. He continued to love music, turning his garage into a music studio, which enabled many teens to start their first musical groups. As an active musician (drummer) and a music entrepreneur who played professionally, he managed many bands around the New York City area. Further he taught many young people how to play the drums. His other hobbies included swimming, fishing, jogging and cooking. Henry was always industrious and motivated with lots of determination and will power. He certainly touched many lives with his humor and gregarious personality.
His subsequent interest in ministry was possibly motivated by several ancestors and cousins who were ministers. Before retiring from Kings County, Henry pursued an education in Pastoral Studies at the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute in Queens. After completing his studies, he also worked as a pastoral counselor. In the mid 1980’s he also began taking a few courses at the New York Theological Seminary. Henry had joined St. Albans Congregational Church after moving to Queens. He served as a Deacon there, where his ministry ambitions were encouraged by the late Rev. Robert Ross Johnson. After retiring, he continued his education and earned a Masters of Professional Studies and subsequently a Masters of Divinity from the New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan. Henry did his internship at the Victoria Congregational Church under Pastor Allen MacLean and subsequently became Pastoral Assistant. He received his ministerial license through the United Church of Christ and became an ordained minister on March 23, 2002 under Rev. Daniel Maiden. Henry became the Associate Pastor for Senior Ministries at Victoria Congregational Church under Senior Pastor Mark Marsh.
Henry was a member of: Morris Brown College Alumni Association of New York and held the position of President as well as other leadership positions; Inter Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund; NAACP; Queens Clinical Society; the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association where he served as Chaplain, Sgt. At Arms, Member of the Board, and was recipient of the Outstanding Member-at-Large Award. In 1991 Henry received a religious Achievement Award from Morris Brown College National Alumni Association as well as several other awards from his local Alumni Association.
On August 22, 2011, after a short but intense illness, Rev. Henry Veal, Jr. transitioned into eternal life. His daughter, Myra Veal Fountain, preceded him in death in 2007. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife, Yvonnecris Smith Veal, MD; his dedicated son, Dr. Michael E. Veal; his grandchildren, Maya Veal-Deneke, Angela Shelton (Floyd), Dr. Tonya Saunders, Linton Williams and Makeba Williams; four great grandchildren, Donya, Donald,Jr., Chyna and Gavin; his sisters, Mary Veal Christian, Juanita Veal Madison (Sammie) and his brother, George Alton Veal (Marion); in-laws, Annie Marietta Smith Randolph, Anne V. Smith Wilkins (Samuel Arthur), Percell Smith,Sr. (Carrie ‘Liz’), Roger Vann Smith,Sr. (Faye Iris); nieces; nephews; cousins; grand nieces; grand nephews; life-long friends Norris Henry and Samuel Edward Brown; and many other relatives and friends.
Memorial Services were held on September 30, 2011 at St. Albans Congregational Church in St.Albans,New York and Homegoing Services were also held on August 29, 2011 at Friendship Baptist Church in Milledgeville,Georgia.