Henry Venable Lancaster, Jr.

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After a remarkable and inspiring life, Henry Venable Lancaster Jr. (Harry), 79, died Wednesday, September 23, 2015. He was the son of the late Henry Venable and Lucie Scott Lancaster.

Although born with cerebral palsy and accompanying severe physical disabilities, his sharp mind and keen intellect led him to obtain both Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Longwood College (now Longwood University). He was a lifelong Episcopalian, growing up with Johns Memorial Church in Farmville.

When he moved to Richmond, he joined St. Stephen’s where he was a member for over forty years. He was a history buff and a student of theology. In Farmville, he wrote a weekly news summary for the Farmville Herald and later opened his own bookstore, the Book Nook. At St. Stephens, Harry wrote numerous homilies, reflections and articles and completed the four-year Education for Ministry program through Sewanee University’s School of Theology. He was responsible for the initiation of a St. Stephen’s Celtic Service at The Virginia Home. Harry was not defined by his disabilities but by his many gifts, abilities and talents, which he generously shared. He demonstrated enormous grace and courage along with a healthy dose of humor and wit.

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Mr. Lancaster is survived by his sister, Lucie Lancaster Ferguson of Henrico; a niece, Lucie Scott Andrade of Phoenix; and a nephew, Lynn Martel Ferguson and his wife, Tessa of Chesterfield.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, September 26 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Richmond.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church or The Virginia Home.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital, especially the Palliative Care team. Harry was a resident of The Virginia Home for almost 30 years and he was embraced by St. Stephens’ clergy and congregants. The family deeply appreciates the extraordinary care and many kindnesses he received both at the Virginia Home and from his loving friends at St. Stephen’s.

Bliley’s Funeral Home, Richmond, served the family.