Hiram Blake Wadsworth Jr.

Published 10:02 am Thursday, October 13, 2022

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May 21, 1927 – Oct. 11. 2022

Services for Hiram Blake Wadsworth, Jr., 95, of Natchez who died Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, at Merit Health Natchez will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Bo Swilley officiating.

Burial services will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be held from 9 until 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home.

Mr. Wadsworth was born on May 21, 1927, in Natchez, the son of Hiram Blake “Billy” Wadsworth Sr., and Lyde Carson Hornsby Wadsworth.

He was a member of St. Mary Basilica, an Eagle Scout, and a member of the Ole Miss Jazz Hall of Fame. He was a State Farm agent for 38 years. He lived his entire life in Natchez.

He attended Carpenter Elementary School and Natchez High School where he began playing the drums and graduated in 1945. After serving in the US Army, he attended Copiah-Lincoln Jr. College before going to Ole Miss on a music scholarship. In 1948 he started his own orchestra called “The Blake Wadsworth Orchestra” which was devoted to jazz music. He formed several bands over the years playing big band and swing jazz music. In the 1970s he changed the name of his band to “The 
Stardusters.” He continued to play drums for various events, including weddings, dances, Little Theatre orchestras, and Natchez High musical orchestras. Lastly, he played with Marvin McDonald and Jim Barnett for his fellow residents at Magnolia Village.

His love of sports included playing golf and sponsoring many men’s basketball and girls’ and men’s 
softball teams. His men’s league softball team won the State Championship in 1978. He faithfully 
followed his son, Richard’s sports career, and his grandchildren’s careers as well. He was the announcer for Trinity Episcopal School and Adams County Christian School basketball, football and baseball teams and was named the “Voice of the Rebels” at ACCS for his years of dedicated service.

Mr. Wadsworth was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Genena Jaquith Wadsworth; their son, William Earl Wadsworth, and his sister, LCDR Evelyn Carson Wadsworth.

Survivors include three children, Alan Blake Wadsworth and wife, Carolyn, of Church Hill, Mississippi, Genena Lynn Wadsworth of Asheville, North Carolina and Richard Carson Wadsworth and wife, Cindy, of Trophy Club, Texas; six grandchildren, Hayden Blake Wadsworth and wife, Holli, of Natchez, Kate Wadsworth Seales and husband, Clint, of Brandon, Mississippi, Dr. Marlee Wadsworth Smith and husband, Turner, of Flowood, Mississippi, Neville Hayes and wife, Jamie, of Bradenton, Florida, Cameron Wadsworth and Carson Wadsworth of Trophy Club, Texas. Blake was fortunate enough to have five great-grandchildren, Blake and Brock Wadsworth of Natchez, Olivia and Evelyn “Evie” Seales of Brandon, Mississippi, and Oliver Hayes of Bradenton, Florida, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Hayden Wadsworth, Neville Hayes, Cameron Wadsworth, Clint Seales, Turner Smith, Mark Broussard, Todd Broussard, Jim Meng, and Paul Meng.

Honorary pallbearers will be Mike Depta and Mike McGehee.

Blake enjoyed his final years at Magnolia Village where he was well cared for by the staff and 
management. The Wadsworth family has deep gratitude for the love and care he was shown at Magnolia Village.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.