Henry J. Booker Jr., 63, the noted organist who had been secretary to the minister of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington for the past 11 years and had served as organist until 1974, died of cardiopulmonary collapse Friday at the Washington Hospital Center.
In 1972, Mr. Booker performed on a concert organ at the White House and at the Kennedy Center.
He was minister of music at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington from 1961 until joining New York Avenue Presbyterian in the late 1960s. He had returned to Shiloh to play the organ last year, while continuing to serve as secretary to New York Avenue's minister.
During the late 1940s to early 1950s, he had chaired music departments, taught and helped develop choirs at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa., and Dillard University in New Orleans. He was a guest lecturer at Davidson College in 1952.
Mr. Booker was a native of Washington and a 1933 graduate of Dunbar High School. He was baptized at the 19th Street Baptist Church in 1927 and later belonged to Shiloh Baptist Church. He was a member of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church at the time of his death.
He earned two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in music at Oberlin College. He also studied under Marcel Dupre at the University of Chicago and Roy W. Tibbs at Howard University.
Mr. Booker rose from private to first lieutenant in the 93rd Infantry Division while serving with the Army in the Pacific during World War II.
Before returning to Washington in 1961, he spent eight years with churches in Los Angeles as organist and music director.
He had been a member of the American Guild of Organists since 1937.
Survivors include his mother, Etta L. Booker, of the home in Washington, and two sisters, Daisy Douglas of Montclair, N.J., and Alice Booker Tibbs of Washington.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Shiloh Organ Fund.