Larry Barnell Pleasant

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Larry Barnell Pleasant entered eternal life on December 12, 2021 after a lengthy illness. Larry was a courageous fighter and did not succumb to his illness easily.

He was born Dec. 22, 1953, in Newport News to the late James W. and Bernice Pierce Pleasant and was raised in Smithfield. Larry as a child, was an active member of Hill Street Baptist Church, now known as Main Street Baptist Church.

Larry was a 1972 honor graduate of Smithfield High School. He was selected into “Who’s Who Among American High School Students.” In addition, he was inducted into the National Honor Society, a two-sport athlete and a member of the high school marching band, and Spanish Club.

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After high school, he attended Hampton Institute and graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. While attending Hampton Institute, he was initiated into Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated in 1974.

Larry had a big personality. At home, he was always singing and dancing. Singing was his passion. God blessed him with a beautiful tenor voice. The family particularly loved his rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.” While in college, he was a member of the Hampton Institute choir and later in life was a member of the prestigious North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club of Newark, New Jersey. In 1985, his choir performed at the White House and later Carnegie Hall.

While living in New Jersey, he was a member of Berean Baptist Church and was installed as a deacon. He continued his membership with Main Street Baptist Church, where he was a deacon and a member of the Adult Choir and Men of Music. Larry retired from St. Vincent Foster Care, Inc., in Brooklyn, New York, as director of human resources. Upon retirement, Larry worked part-time at the Smithfield Branch Library for many years.

Larry was also preceded in death by his brothers, James Burnell Pleasants and Williams D. Pleasants. He is survived by a sister, Jeanette B. Grandison; two brothers, Warner Bailey and Nolie Bailey (Gwen); an aunt, Margaret P. Rowlett, of Baltimore, Maryland; special cousins, Lorraine Pleasants Hemphill, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Charmaine V. Keeton, of Centennial, Colorado; a special friend, David Pitt; and close friends Miles and Shirell Blount.

Larry was very fond of his nieces and nephews — they called him their big brother — Christopher Grandison Sr., Jeanna G. Addison, (Shurly) Vicki G. Milan, (Angelo), Michael Bailey, Deidre Brown, (Reginald Brown) Bonita Pelzer, Michael Pleasants, Angela Pleasants, and Delana Pleasants; and a host of great-grandnieces, -nephews, cousins and friends.

The homegoing service was held on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, at Main Street Baptist Church, Smithfield.