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Harry Gayden Jr. '55 August 11, 2023 2:32 PM updated: August 11, 2023 3:06 PM

Harry Perkins Gayden, Jr. 
September 28, 1933 - July 16, 2023 

Harry Perkins Gayden, Jr, died Sunday, July 16, 2023. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harry Perkins Gayden, Sr. and Helen Baker Gayden Levi, and his brother, William Kernan Gayden.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Sylvia Simoneaux Gayden, his children Harry Perkins Gayden, III (Susie), Vance Gayden Pearson (Scott), and Valerie Gayden Holman (George), his grandchildren, Harry Perkins “Chip” Gayden, IV (Ashley), Betsy Gayden Haight (Drew), Gayden Holman Lewis (Tim), and George Hinton Holman, Jr., his great-grandchildren Caroline McLaine Gayden, Emmaline Leigh Haight, Henry Banks Haight, James Lane Lewis, and Elizabeth Waters Lewis.

Harry was born September 28, 1933, in Baton Rouge, LA. In 1947 his family moved to Houston, TX, where he graduated from Lamar High School.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1955, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Ross Volunteers Company honor guard. He served his country as a captain in the Field Artillery Branch of the United States Army.

The Gaydens made Memphis, TN, their home in 1959 when Harry worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation and later joined Associated Southern Industries. He retired as President and Owner of Johnstone Supply Memphis. Harry was a master woodworker who left a legacy of beautiful furniture for his family and friends. He enjoyed fly fishing with a special group of friends who traveled to camps worldwide. Affectionately known as Big Harry to his family, he touched many lives in his kind, humble, gentle way.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 11:00 am at St. Peter Catholic Church, 190 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN, 38103. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

The family requests memorials to St. Peter Catholic Church Literary Society, 190 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN, 38103; Christian Brothers High School Annual Fund, Advancement Office, 5900 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN, 38120 or the charity of your choice.


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