Henry Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, remembered in public memorial

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City icon is laid to rest. Henry Bloch died last week at the age of 96.

Monday, the metro publicly remembered the co-founder and long time CEO of H&R Block.

Henry Bloch leaves an unmatched mark on Kansas City in building a Fortune 500 company and being known just as much for his humility as his success. The empire he built created an entire industry and generated wealth his family continues to share.

"No words can fully describe the incredible man of accomplishment," Rabbi Alan D. Londy of New Reform Temple said.

In eulogies, his children and grandchildren shared the lasting impression Bloch leaves.

"Dad always seemed to give the right advice, telling us what we needed to hear, not what we wanted to hear," Henry's son, Bob Bloch said.

Those are principles he applied as he launched a little company to help small businesses succeed.  The family enterprise was initially fledgling, but found a foothold in tax preparation and ultimately became the global enterprise known today as H&R Block.

"Dad achieved wild success, achieved many honors, and was often in the company of the most famous people in the world.  But it never changed his way of treating others," Bob Bloch said.

Bloch's family told of how their patriarch often credited his life's successes to sheer luck. But those closest to him, know it actually came through strong work ethic, humility, and elevating others.

"My grandfather was as good as it gets. He took care of the community. He took care of his business.  He took care of his family. In a sense, he took care of himself by taking care of others," Henry's grandson, Nick Bloch said.

Henry Bloch's love for his hometown ran deep and still endures.

"He was most proud not of what he received but for what he could give back. Dad loved Kansas City and all it gave to him," Bloch's daughter, Mary Jo Brown said.

The Nelson Atkins Museum is home to a gallery of fine art from his family's collection, a school at UMKC bears his name, and the Bloch estate made an overhaul of the St. Luke's Neuroscience Institute, now named for his wife Marion, possible.

"Your contributions to society will endure more than any of us here in this room will ever know. Thank you dad for showing your children and their children that when you give your best, the best just might very well come back to you," Bloch's son, Thomas Bloch said.

Henry Bloch's son also shared that his dad often said he owed a great debt to Kansas City. A debt that he could never repay and his children are committed to continuing to pay that debt through a family foundation that continues to give to education, the arts, and healthcare.

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