Mr. Willie B. Howard, Jr. was born in Mobile, Alabama to the proud parents of Willie B. Howard, Sr., and Katie Mae Howard. He passed in a local hospital, leaving a devoted wife, Dorothy Howard.
During Willie’s 70 years he was blessed and is survived by a devoted immediate family circle. His survivors are three children, Laticia (Ryan) Bleck of Hicksville, Ohio; Marci and William Howard of Mesa, Arizona. Four grandchildren, Michael & Emma Bleck; and Zolie & Malcolm Howard. A niece (aka Sister) Beverly Hill of Indianapolis, Indiana, two great nieces, Katrina Hill & Marilyn Woods of San Antonio, Texas. His large extended family circle consists of four aunts, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and two sisters-in-law, Sallie (Henry) Burrell of Lancaster, California, and Sandra (Ferance) Webb of Mobile, Alabama.
Willie’s Christian beliefs, civic involvement and providing personal counsel to others were evidenced throughout his life. As a youth his Christian journey began as a member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He never waived from his core Christian values from his youth until his passing. He was a member of Valley Southern Baptist Church in Mesa and First Baptist Church Chandler. He was committed in his roles as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher and served on various committees.
His civic involvement was evidenced during his high school years where he attended and graduated from Williamson High school in Mobile, Alabama; and participated in numerous activities. He was elected President of the Honor Society and President of the Student Council, graduating with honors in 1967. After high school, he attended Tuskegee University (formerly known as Tuskegee, Institute) and was a member of the Army ROTC.
Upon graduating from Tuskegee, he was commissioned to Regular Army (2nd Lieutenant, Field Artillery Officer) and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was stationed in Germany and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal First Oak Leaf Cluster. He attained the rank of Captain.
His employment career history list tenure with Johnson & Johnson (Sherman, Texas) and Baxter Healthcare (El Paso, Texas). After relocating to Arizona, he worked for the Internal Revenue Service in various roles as Revenue Officer, Program Analyst, EEO and Diversity Counselor and Mediator.
During his post-employment retirement years, he remained active in volunteering and serving on many local county/community boards and councils. He served on the City of Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission, The Board of Adjustment, Library Board, and Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board. He was a volunteer on the Senior Peer Counseling Program.
Interment: National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85024.