Henry Flautt was a man of many passions. He loved his large family and many friends, the arts, the natural surroundings of the Mississippi Delta, and the rich hunting that the region offers. In his pursuit of those passions, he was known and admired for sharing them widely with a kind and generous spirit.
Henry died Sunday, July 2 at his residence in Greenwood. He was 89.
Throughout his life, Henry was blessed with a positive attitude that attracted legions of friends. He was a people person who thrived on news about anyone he knew. He always focused on the best in people, and he seized on opportunities to connect people who shared interests. Frank Henry Flautt was born November 26, 1933, in Glendora. As the second of five children to Thomas Joseph Flautt and Alline Mitchener Flautt, Henry grew up on his family’s Ten Oaks farm on the outskirts of Greenwood. He was an Eagle Scout before graduating from Greenwood High School and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, then returned home to marry another Greenwood native, Polly Meek. The couple had two children, Dr. Henry Flautt, Jr. (Mary Haley) of Greenwood and Frances Flautt Zook (Jim) of Oxford, before going their separate ways but remained lifelong friends. Henry farmed for a short time before working for nearly 30 years as an independent insurance agent serving the Delta.
Henry married Gayle Stribling Clements and became a beloved father figure to Gayle’s four children and seven grandchildren. The couple enjoyed a life marked by a love for travel and the arts. Through study and much practice, Henry developed an outstanding talent for ceramics. His bowls and Celtic crosses became popular gifts for family and friends who married or had a newborn. His talents and desire to teach others inspired many in the Delta to take up pottery. When he wasn’t traveling, Henry gave much of his time and talent to the city of Greenwood. He was an instrumental figure behind the Arts for Success program that gave local youth the opportunity to experience the joy of creating art. He planted thousands of trees in and around Greenwood, offering to plant trees up and down Grand Boulevard for any homeowner who wanted them. Diners at Giardina’s can still savor one of Henry’s many legacies with a serving of Uncle Henry’s Duck Gumbo.
The Museum of the Mississippi Delta honored Henry in 2017 for his many contributions to the local arts scene. He was also involved in the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber of Commerce, the Greenwood Little Theatre, the Boy Scouts, and Habitat for Humanity. He was a long-time member and leader in the Episcopal Church of the Nativity. In addition, Henry loved to share the natural beauty of the Delta with family and visitors through duck hunting. He cherished the chance to introduce the challenge of the hunt to his grandchildren, whom he rewarded for bagging a duck with a little hit of peach schnaps. He enjoyed nothing more than to climb in his pickup and cruise the backroads of the Delta while enjoying a leisurely visit with family or friends who rode along.
Henry is survived by his two children; four step-children, Cathy Clements Bailey (Clinton), Susan Clements Chick (Jim), and Ann Clements Carter (Bobby), all of Memphis, and H. Ganes Clements, of Greenwood; two brothers, Tom Flautt of Cincinnati, Ohio and Jimmy Flautt of Brandon; a sister, Joanne Flautt Branham of Greenwood; an uncle, Frank Mitchener of Sumner; five grandchildren, Mary Steele Flautt Mock of Savannah, Texas, Katherine Flautt Russell of Jackson, Suzanne Alline Flautt of Jackson; James Randolph “Jack” Zook III of Austin, Texas, and Henry McWillie Zook of Oxford; seven step-grandchildren, Henry Clements Bailey, Clifton Clements Odom, Irene Annelle Bailey, Charles Stribling Odom, Andrew Clements Odom, Matthew Ganes Clements and William Stribling Clements; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Gayle and his brother, Pat Flautt of Dallas.
Services will be held this Saturday, July 8 at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood at 11 a.m. A visitation will precede the service in the church parlor starting at 9:30 a.m.
Memorials can be directed to Delta Wildlife or Boy Scout Troop 200 in Greenwood by contributing to @boyscoutstroop200 on Venmo.