Eleanor Ann McCall Henley, 84, passed away on February 6, 2024, at her home in Baton Rouge one year after her cancer diagnosis. Ron, her loving husband of 63 years, was by her side.
A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Eleanor’s life focused on family and friends, her deep Catholic faith, and a pursuit of learning, art and service. After graduating from LaGrange High School, Eleanor attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) where she earned a BS in Bacteriology. She was a Phi Mu and co-editor of the yearbook with her best friend.
Eleanor and Ron lived in Crossett, Arkansas for 39 years where they raised their kids, Carol, Brian, and Scott. She was an active leader in the community, as president of the League of Women Voters, founding a local Red Cross program that taught thousands to swim, a member of Junior Auxiliary, and nearly every possible volunteer role at Holy Cross Catholic Church. She was a Justice of the Peace. She was eventually employed at Holy Cross for 18 years and served as a pastoral associate. During this time, she enhanced her faith and work at the parish by earning a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans. She was instrumental in the major task to rebuild the church after it was destroyed by fire. Eleanor also served as Tribunal Advocate for the Dioceses of Little Rock and Baton Rouge.
Eleanor and Ron moved to Baton Rouge in 2004 where they became active at St. George Parish. In addition to other roles, she served on the Sacred Art Committee for the construction of the new church, served as the leader of Golden Oaks and made incredible friendships in her bible study and rosary groups. She also used her sewing skills to become active in Threads of Love and the Smocking Guild.
She was a gifted artist, unafraid to tackle any new pursuit. An incomplete list of artistic interests includes a wide variety and depth of needlework, painting of all types including iconography, miniatures and doll houses, mosaics, wood marquetry and book binding. Her homes in both Crossett and Baton Rouge required additions of craft rooms to feed these passions.
She read thousands of books, supporting her local libraries, and enjoying friends in book clubs. She worked tens of thousands of crossword and other puzzles, an essential start to her day and usually complete by breakfast. She was a diligent exerciser, pedaling enough stationary bike miles to circle the globe multiple times. She collected stamps for many years. She and Ron travelled widely across the US, Canada, and Europe, and made trips to the Holy Land and Central America. She especially enjoyed a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and Rome, where she shook hands with Pope John Paul II and said, “God bless you”, creating a story she delighted to tell about blessing the Pope.
She had a dry sense of humor, loved jokes and no pun was too awful. She enjoyed sports but mostly liked watching LSU Women’s Basketball with Ron and her special friends. Her kids are certain that she was at least 10 minutes early to any Mass, appointment, or event. She was constantly attentive to the locations and activities of her seven grandchildren.
She remains a beloved wife, mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, great-aunt, godmother and friend to everyone who knew her.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Carroll H. McCall and Elizabeth Caldwell McCall; her sister, Kristen Rivers; her brothers-law, Pat Screen and Donald Rivers; and sister-in-law, Pam McCall.
Eleanor is survived by Ron; her children, Carol Marcantel (Carson), Brian Henley (Becky) and Scott Henley (Rainey); her grandchildren, Diana Moore (Hillar), Laura Marcantel, Cameron Henley, J.W. Henley, Preston Henley, Marin Henley, and Arden Henley; her sister, lifelong best friend and faith companion, Kathy Screen; her brothers, Robert “Bob” McCall (Brenda), William “Bill” McCall (Nadine) and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
The family would like to give special thanks to the many family members and friends whose visits, cards, gifts, food and prayers supported Eleanor throughout her illness. They would also like to thank the staff of Clarity Hospice for their care and compassion.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation at St. George Catholic Church, 7808 St. George Drive in Baton Rouge, on Monday, February 12, 2024, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the burial in St. George Catholic Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Eleanor’s memory to Glenmary Home Missioners or the charity of your choice.