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Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries

5100 Pontchartrain Blvd, New Orleans, LA

OBITUARY

Henry Alan Gremillion

October 15, 1951May 18, 2020

Henry Alan Gremillion, DDS (68) passed away suddenly on May 18, 2020. The void for all those who love him is immeasurable. At age seven months, Henry was adopted from an orphanage in North Louisiana by Bascom and Sadie Gremillion. He was raised with his sister, Gayle, in Cottonport, LA. His roots in this small farming community were an integral part of the man he became and the man we will always remember. From a young age to the time of his passing, Henry was a friend to all. He graduated from Cottonport High School and went on to attend LSU for both his undergraduate and dental education. In undergraduate, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was an avid and lifetime LSU fan. Henry’s biggest influence came during his days at LSU--his best friend and the love of his life, Mackey. They married in 1974 and lived in New Orleans, while Henry attended the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. After graduation, the couple moved to Cottonport where Henry began his general dentistry practice. While in Cottonport, their family grew, and they raised their four children (Erin, Alan, Scott, and Lindsay) in this peaceful and beloved small town. Henry treated patients from all walks of life. His service to his community went far beyond his practice. Henry was a member of the St. Mary’s School Board and a volunteer firefighter. He entered politics by successfully running for City Council and implementing community fluoridation and a positive move to address the disparity in representation. His many contributions were publicly recognized when he was named 1989 Cottonport Citizen of the Year. Throughout all of this, Henry became a continuing education junkie, quickly recognizing that dental school only provided an educational base on which it was his responsibility to build. His quest, desire, and dedication to life-long learning was originally to ensure he provided the best quality of care to his patients, but ultimately led to a two-year Craniofacial Pain Fellowship at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. The intent was to relocate his family for two years and then to return home to Cottonport. These two years, and the development of an eternal bond with the late Dr. Parker Mahan, served as a springboard for his passion in academics. Two years led to thirty-one – which was a blessing for him, his family, and for all of those who he treated, taught, mentored, and befriended. Rising through the academic ranks, Gremillion was named the Parker E. Mahan Endowed Professor of Orofacial Pain at the University of Florida and was a member of the dental staff of UF Health Shands Teaching Hospital. He served as the Director of the UFCD Parker Mahan Facial Pain Center and its fellowship program. Throughout his journey in academics, Henry earned countless distinguished honors. From numerous teacher of the year awards, to the Pierre Fauchard Academy Gold Medal Award (awarded to a US dentist who “made outstanding contributions to the progress and standing of the dental profession”), to being installed as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Dental Education Association, Henry remained the humble man from Cottonport. From local, state, national, and international lectures, he was always grounded and never forgot those who played a role in affording him these experiences. In 2008, Henry was offered the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to return to his alma mater as the Dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. This homecoming was an experience he cherished, and he brought along with him the Cottonport mindset. No person was too important, no program was too big, no position was too prestigious. The “New Dental School” in New Orleans was a team and a family working as a cohesive unit to provide the absolute best education alongside dental care that was second to none. Henry believed that the Health Sciences were an extension of life as he knew it, and everyone deserved the absolute best. He ensured that he personally knew every member of the Dental School. From the security guards, to the custodians, to the administrative staff, to the faculty, the students, and the Chancellor, Henry wanted to know everyone by name, and he cared about their life situations and their families. His genuine interest in all he knew is something that we can all learn from and attempt to emulate. Henry was the sixth dean of the school and the only alumnus to ever hold the position. At age 66, Henry was blessed and forever grateful to connect and become part of his birth family. Like everyone who knew Henry, he was immediately loved and embraced as the eldest sibling. This was a short but incredibly meaningful part of his life. Henry was a selfless giver, always put others' needs before his own. He was a natural leader, a man of strong faith, and, as his parents taught him early in Cottonport, family was the ultimate gift. There are no words for the loss that is felt by his wife, Mackey, and his children Erin (Brad), Alan (Sarah), Scott (Wendy), and Lindsay (Andy). His family did not stop here, however. He was the proud and loving grandfather of 10 (Ben, JudyAnne, Adelyn, Costen, Cadence, Braxton, Maggie, Will, Avery, and Parker) and had a special, individual, and eternal connection with each of them in their own way. As has been said, the family knows that a heart that is broke is a heart that is loved. Many hearts are broken today because so many hearts have been touched and loved by Henry throughout the years. Henry’s love was ever present and will live on through his family. He will forever be a part of them, and they are comforted knowing that he is enjoying eternal life in the paradise that we call Heaven. Henry’s life was, without question, a life that was lived. He made the most of his opportunities, enjoyed the countless relationships, found ways to make ordinary events special, and always stayed true to his roots and his principles throughout the many adventures, experiences, challenges, and curve-balls that life threw him. He touched and influenced the lives of so many. Heaven is undoubtedly the reward that he deserves. In light of the current pandemic, a private family Mass will be held for Henry in the near future. A memorial service will be held later this year – details to come, as a date has not been determined. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a contribution be made to Henry’s mission, passion, and professional purpose – the foundation and establishment of a Facial Pain Center at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. Henry has made immense progress in making this dream become a reality, with major fundraising and developments. Donations and contributions in his name will not only help this dream become a reality, it will be a legacy he will forever shine down upon to ensure comprehensive training is available for students and exceptional treatment options are available for patients. Please make checks payable to the LSU Health New Orleans Foundation. Mail to: LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, 1100 Florida Ave., Box 22, New Orleans, LA 70119. By credit card, visit https://give.lsuhealthfoundation.org/Dentistry and leave designation as Dean Henry A. Gremillion Fund. To view and sign the guest book, please visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com

Services

  • Public Service to be announced at a later date

Memories

Henry Alan Gremillion

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Stephanie Noe

May 27, 2020

Shortly after I started working at LSUSD, my then 8 year old daughter Katherine was at work with me one afternoon. She and I went to visit Dr. Cheramie and while we were in his office, Dr. Gremillion walked in. I introduced Katherine to him, saying this was Dean Gremillion. He offered his hand and as she shook it, he said, "Hi Katherine, I'm Henry nice to meet you". Several months later during the summer, she was with me again and we bumped into Dean Gremillion in the hallway. My daughter smiled at him and said Hi Henry! I was mortified that she called a man of such importance by his first name and apologized to him. Dean Gremillion smiled and laughed and said, don't be silly, my name is Henry and touched she remembered me. I will never forget how kind and caring he always was. Dean Gremillion made every person he met feel as if they were important. He never passed a single person in the hallway without acknowledging them by name. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to know him and work with him. He will forever be remembered and always be my Dean.

Pat Bernard

May 24, 2020

To the Gremillion Family:
My husband and I were so sorry to learn of Dr. Gremillion’s passing. We knew from his days in Cottonport. Dr. Gremillion was a wonderful person and dentist. All of you are in our prayers.

Mamen and Danny Wilson

May 24, 2020

Dear Mackey, I am at a loss to find words to express our deep sorrow for the loss of Henry- he was a gift to all that had the privilege of knowing him. At a personal level, I must say that I held him in the highest esteem and admiration. Our entire family is in mourning; he was simply the best. He is truly irreplaceable and will never be forgotten. Please accept our deepest condolences.

Brian Rask

May 24, 2020

Dear Mackey, my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Dr. Gremillion was one of my favorite professors while at UFCD. He was incredibly knowledgeable but taught in such a down to earth manner and was always easy to approach with any type of question. He sparked an interest in treating TMD patients with me in his Facial Pain elective and by learning from him in the pain center lab, as he meticulously adjusted acrylic bite splints and then would shake the dust off everywhere. He encouraged me to take the Continuum at the Pankey Institute to comprehensively treat these types of patients. His impact on thousands of dentist's careers and even more patient's lives is immeasurable. Even as Dean at LSU, he would still respond to emails about TMD questions I had on challenging patients. He was someone that could always be relied upon for help.

I will always remember the hospitality you and Henry showed when we would build the UFCD homecoming float at your house and he would talk about growing up in LA , life and your family. He was such a giving and genuine person to be around. The world won't be the same without him but he will never be forgotten by the many people's lives he has touched. You have been blessed with a wonderful family to give you strength and many memories to bring you peace. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. RIP Dr. G

Denise Lirette

May 23, 2020

May your joyful memories sustain you through the sorrow of your loss.
Dr. Gremillion made the world a better place and he will leave a significant void. I believe his influence will continue for decades to come.
My sympathies and prayer are with you, his family.
Denise

Katie & Buzzy Leithead

May 23, 2020

Dear Mackey and Family,
Our hearts are broken, as are yours, as we remember the “greatest guy in the world”. Henry was a great friend for many years at LSU, Dental School, and in recent years, in New Orleans. We are both so blessed to have reconnected after your return to Louisiana. Our memories of the times spent with Henry, this past year are forever cherished in our hearts. Please accept our prayers and condolences. Love, Katie & Buzzy Leithead

Chris Parte

May 22, 2020

It was a privilege to know Henry. I had the good fortune to spend a week with him at the Pain Centre in 2003, and to witness the empathy he expressed to all the patients he cared for. Simply meeting him would likely have reduced their pain, even before any therapy was commenced.
Henry's is a grievous loss to his family, friends, patients, students and to the dental profession. He will be terribly missed by all of us.

Stephanie Swords

May 22, 2020

Dr. Gremillion was one of the most affable human beings I have ever met. Two and a half years ago when I was trying to decide what continuing education course to enroll in to further my knowledge about TMD and orofacial pain, Dr. Gremillion invited me on a phone call to discuss the LSU Orofacial Pain Continuum. I knew right then and there that this was someone I wanted to learn from, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so. He was a wonderful mentor to many, and the one who reaffirmed my desire to transition into full-time academia. I am so appreciative of his guidance and advice when I was applying and interviewing for teaching positions. I am grateful for his friendship and the role he played in my professional career, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to share with him my future plans before his passing. I can only hope to impact my students the way he impacted his. He was a remarkable person and an exemplary educator, and he will be missed dearly.

Dana And Akili Johnson/Williams

May 22, 2020

Dear Dean Gremillion, Thank you for loving us all. And giving the dental school your Best,Thanks for appreciating staff it meant so much. Thanks for caring about what Akili and I were up to.We will continue to give the school our Best. Mrs.Gremillion you and your family are in our prayers. Rest In Peace New Angel. Love Dana and Akili Staff❤️

David and Melanie Duplantier

May 22, 2020

Dear Mackey,
With great sadness David found out about Henry's death. We are thankful for the happy time we had at the National Championship Game. David is thankful that Henry was one of the best roommates he had at LSU. Thankful to be able to reconnect and talk old times at the pregame party. We pray for your heart and that God would hold it in His mighty right hand. We pray He protects and guides you. We pray you feel His love and peace at this time of loss.
Take care Mackey,
David and Melanie Duplantier

FROM THE FAMILY

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