Jack Harris Howard passed away in Lebanon, Tennessee on May 2, 2014. He was 87 years old. Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Maurice Stone Howard and Freda Henning Howard; his brother, Dr. Billy Stone Howard; and his twin sister, Martha Howard Wilters.
Jack Howard was born in Lebanon and lived the majority of his life there. Jack’s parents instilled in him a love of books and learning, which led him to pursue a career in education. He graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in 1945. He then entered Maryville College where he graduated in 1949 with a degree in mathematics.
He returned home to Lebanon where he began his teaching career at Castle Heights Military Academy. After earning his master’s degree from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1954, he joined the faculty at Hiawassee College. He returned home to Lebanon in 1956 to serve as academic dean and to teach mathematics at Cumberland University. In 1962, he returned to Hiawassee College to serve as dean of students and to teach mathematics.
In 1966 he returned home to Lebanon for good when he rejoined the faculty at Cumberland College while also serving an administrative role as academic dean. Retiring from his administrative post in 1982, Jack was named academic dean emeritus by the school’s board of trust in recognition of his outstanding service. He was awarded the honorary doctor of literary letters degree by the Cumberland University Board of Trust in 1990.
He continued to serve on the faculty until his retirement in 1992. His many honors included receiving the Phoenix Award as Cumberland College Teacher of the Year, being named Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Lebanon Jaycees, and receiving the Education Award from the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce.
He was a past president of the History Association of Wilson County, past president of the Lebanon Greater Arts Council, past chairman of the Wilson County Library Board, and past chairman of the Trustees Section of the Tennessee Library Association. In 2010, Jack was honored by the Wilson County Commission when he was elected to become the official Wilson County historian, only the sixth person to hold that position in the county’s history.
Jack loved his church and he loved his family. He was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder. He was a loving and devoted son to his parents, helping to care for both of them throughout their long lives in the Howard family home on South Tarver Street across from Cumberland University. He was the family genealogist and historian, spending many hours in his retirement years researching and recording the family histories of the various branches of his family tree.
He always kept close ties to numerous family members and friends through cards, letters and phone calls. He never forgot a birthday, an anniversary, or other special occasions. Jack was the epitome of the southern gentleman, always polite, soft spoken and considerate to everyone he knew or met. His kindness touched many lives from family and friends as well as many of his former students. His presence will be missed dearly, but his spirit, his love and his service to this community will forever be a testament of the tremendous life Jack lived.
Jack is survived by his nieces and nephews; Dr. John Wilters (Taryn) of Nashville, Judge Bob Wilters (Ame) of Foley, AL, Dr. Bill Howard (Gail) of Copperhill, Kathryn McCleskey (Ron) of Lebanon, and Christy Webb (Kenneth) of Nashville; by his 10 great nieces and nephews; Blaire Wilters Baxter, Richard Howard, Tyler King, Ryan King, Clayton Webb, Kathryn Webb, William Webb, Morgan Wilters, Stone Wilters, and Taylor Wilters: and by a great-great niece, Kate King and a great-great nephew, Carter King. Pallbearers will be his great-nephews.
Visitation will be Friday, May 9 from 2 - 6 p.m. at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home in Lebanon. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10 at the First Presbyterian Church, Lebanon with visitation preceding from 9 - 10 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Wilson County Memorial Gardens in Lebanon.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the charity of your choice in Jack’s memory.
Lebanon's Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.