Obituary Hank Couzens


COUZENS, Henry J. "Hank", 83, husband of Doris S. [Dorris] Couzens, died Sun, Feb 10, 2008, in Lexington KY after a short illness. Born in Detroit, MI, Henry served his country during the Second World War (WWII) as a P-47 fighter pilot with the 361st Squadron, 356th Fighter Group of the Eight Air Force, Army Air Corps (USAAC). While stationed near Norwich, England, he was shot down over France, spending time in a German POW camp. US Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) read the service record of Henry Joseph Couzens into the Congressional Record on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. After the WWII he graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Commerce. He had a thirty-five year career with IBM where he was a leader of the design and development of the Selectric Composer.

Hank was always interested in architecture. Following his retirement from IBM, he started the Park Central Company, through which he constructed private residences. His building style was noted for its exacting detail and perfection. He also built an office building at 450 Old Vine in Lexington using 150 year old brick retrieved from an old distillery. Hank was an avid sailor competing with friends in a number of Mackinaw races on Lake Michigan. He, along with a number of local businessmen, completed the Atlantic portion of Nick Ellison's Lusty Wind II circumnavigation. His leg of the trip followed that of Columbus from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 1994. He and Charlie Jett commenced Sunday morning services aboard the Lusty Wind II. He served on numerous boards, including, Junior Achievement, the Headley-Whitney Museum and the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation.

While a trustee for Bluegrass Trust, Hank served on the Kentucky Latrobe House Committee and helped coordinate the restoration of the Senator John Pope House {The Pope Villa}, which had been designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, one of America's early and great architects (and of Huguenot ancestry). It was Latrobe who turned James Hoban's simple home design into what we now know today as the White House in Washington, DC. During Hank's time on the vestry of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), he supervised the restoration of the steeple spires and a structural addition. He was a Senior Warden twice at Christ Church. Thirty years ago he commenced a men's group who continue to meet for dinner and Christian fellowship one evening each month. In his honor the group has named it Henry's Mens Group. At his death he was an active member of Saint Andrew's Anglican Church, serving on both its Vestry and its building committee. Henry was a long-standing member of the Lexington Rotary Club and the Lexington Club.

He is also survived by three children; Lori Couzens Specht (Steve), Linda Couzens Burchett (Sam) and Henry Chapman "Chap" Couzens (Susan) and eight grandchildren; Ann Chapman Breeden, Philip Ford Burchett, Samuel Preston Burchett, Jr., Henry Joseph Burchett, Charlotte Elizabeth Burchett, Thomas Burrell Burchett, Henry Chapman Couzens, Jr., and Laura Estelle Couzens. His parents and sister predeceased him. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Mens Group; Garland Barr, Bill Cox, Tom Dupree, Joe Daugherty, David Johnston, John Robertson, Dyer Rodes, and Cal Roszell and close friends Barry Morris and Loys Mather. Pallbearers were his grandsons. Funeral services was at 11am Wed, February 13th at Apostles Anglican Church with Rev. David Brannan (St. Andrew's) and Rev. Martin Gornick (Apostles) officiating  {200 Colony Blvd. Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 245-1318}. Burial (02/13) was at Lexington Cemetery (W. Main, just west of the Downtown area). Visitation was 5-7pm (lasted until 9) Tuesday (02/12) at the W. R. Milward Mortuary-Broadway (2 blocks north of Main) at 159 North Broadway, Lexington, KY 40507: (859) 252-3411 1-(800) 304-8739). Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Andrew's Anglican Church, 161 N. Locust St., Versailles 40383, Hospice of the Bluegrass or the Lexington Rotary Club Endowment Fund.

Published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on 2/11/2008: (this link no longer works)

Added: 02/11/2008