Services for Henry William Bethard III will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, Louisiana with Reverend Steve Fowler officiating, assisted by Reverend Curtis Carroll of First United Methodist Church, Coushatta, Louisiana. Interment will be held at Springville Cemetery under the direction of Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, Louisiana. Visitation will be held from 10:00 am until service on Wednesday at First United Methodist Church, Coushatta, Louisiana.
Henry was born on December 9, 1924 in Coushatta, Louisiana at the home of his parents, Henry William Bethard, Jr. and Shirley Edgerton Bethard. He passed away on May 13, 2018 in his home in Coushatta, Louisiana.
Henry was lovingly called Big D by all of his family. Big D was our family’s mentor, leader, and greatest supporter! His optimistic personality and loving spirit represented his favorite saying, “Life is Good”! Big D was proud of his children and their growing families. Henry was married to Olive Ann Guenard Bethard, whom he affectionately referred to as “Sweetie Ann”, for 62 years. Throughout his marriage, life was filled with family and travel. He loved how much his family has grown and thought his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the absolute best. Big D was responsible for many Black Lake Camp days/weekends that developed meaningful relationships with family and allowed for true cousin bonding time. He was an extremely generous person always remembering birthdays and other special occasions for all of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with just the perfect gift.
At age 12, Henry had the privilege of being selected to attend the first Boy Scout National Jamboree. He was a 1941 graduate of Coushatta High School. While in high school, he attended the first Louisiana Boys State. Following high school, Henry attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was an active member of Sigma Nu fraternity. While attending LSU, Henry met his wife, Olive Ann Guenard Bethard, on a blind date scheduled by a mutual friend. During college, Henry joined the US Navy where he attended flight school and served his country. After his military service, he returned to Louisiana State University and attended law school and graduated in June 1948. Henry was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar on June 4, 1948. His law degree served him well as he practiced law at Bethard and Bethard, first with his father and later with his two sons for a total of 68 years. Henry served from 1960 to 1964 in the Louisiana House of Representatives working diligently to improve his home state. While serving in the legislature, he represented the State of Louisiana in Philadelphia on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the United States Constitution and delivered a speech standing on the steps of Independence Hall.
Henry was a devoted Red River Parish community supporter and spent countless hours assisting to help his hometown prosper. He was instrumental in obtaining an airport for Red River Parish, the Red River Parish port at Hanna, Bodcaw Industries, which is currently operated as Idaho Industries. He served as chairman of Coushatta’s Industrial Development Committee and played a key role in attracting Sunbeam Manufacturing, who employed as many as 700 people at one time, to Coushatta. He served as attorney for the Town of Coushatta for over 30 years with almost all of those years being without pay, which is a true public servant. He also served as attorney for the villages of Hall Summit, Martin, and Edgefield. Henry served on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Coushatta and was chairman of the board for many years. Henry was a lifelong member of the American Legion Post 118, a Charter Member of the Coushatta Country Club, a member of the Springville Cemetery Committee, and was the oldest member of the First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, Louisiana.
Henry is preceded in death by his son, Henry William Bethard IV who died as an infant, his wife, Olive Ann Bethard and his sister, Shirley Bethard Hegenwald.
He is survived by one daughter, Suzanne Bethard Hearne and husband Sanders of Shreveport, Louisiana, two sons, James G. (Jim) Bethard and wife Florence of Coushatta, Louisiana, Robert E. Bethard and wife Rhoda of Coushatta, Louisiana, grandchildren, Sanders F. Hearne, Jr. and wife Kate of Atlanta, Georgia, Bethard Hearne Smith and husband Matt of Dallas, Texas, Leigh Hearne Hillenmeyer and husband Morgan of Nashville, Tennessee, James G. (Jay) Bethard of McLean, Virginia, Shirley Bethard Hagemeier and husband Todd of Frisco, Texas, Benjamin T. Bethard and wife Meg of Shreveport, Louisiana, Henry W. Bethard V and wife Katie of Shreveport, Louisiana, Kassie Bethard Williams and husband Joshua of Coushatta, Louisiana, Kara Bethard of New Orleans, Louisiana, Kallie Bethard of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Kambrie Bethard of Coushatta, Louisiana and 16 (soon to be 17) great grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be: Sanders F. Hearne, Jr., James G. (Jay) Bethard, Henry W. Bethard V, Benjamin T. Bethard, Morgan Hillenmeyer, and Joshua A. Williams
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Springville Cemetery Association, Perpetual Care Fund, Post Office Box 1023, Coushatta, Louisiana, 71019, First United Methodist Church of Coushatta, 2018 Front Street, Coushatta, Louisiana, 71019, or the recipient of donor’s choice.
Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home