Harold Howard, 70, of Murphy, passed away Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, at his residence.
He was a native of the western North Carolina mountains, and spent his early childhood in the area of Bryson City. As a young boy, his parents, Grady and Gracie Howard, relocated to the Hiwassee Dam area of Cherokee County in order for his father to continue to work with the TVA.
He and his family enjoyed music and spent time singing and playing together. Harold taught himself how to play the guitar, and did so from childhood until his cancer became too much for him and Doris, his wife of 11 years, to travel around the area singing. Playing at churches, community centers, homeless shelters and nursing homes was part of his passion.
Harold attended Moccasin Creek Baptist Church.
Harold had many jobs and trades throughout his life. After returning from a two-year service with the Army in the late 1960s, he created a life for himself and his family doing things such as carpentry, masonry, driving long haul trucks and mining, operating heavy equipment, and finally retiring as a landscape specialist in the herbicide and pesticide department of the N.C. DOT, where he worked 26 years.
Harold had many hobbies and loves during his life – mainly fishing, singing and playing his guitar with his family and friends. He enjoyed NASCAR racing and even had a race car on the Tri-County dirt track around the time of 1990. Harold liked horseback riding for many years and rode in the wagon train on occasion.
Harold leaves behind a very large extended family that he enjoyed seeing and visiting. He would usually attend family reunion gatherings twice a year, one in Bryson City in June and the other in Canton, Ohio, in September.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one stepson, Tony Sneed; and brothers, Dennis, Bill and Grady Howard Jr.
He also had a close immediate family including his wife, Doris Burrell Howard; daughter April Howard Hines (Steve), son Josh Howard (Stephanie Blue) and daughter Amber Howard Patterson (Robert); grandchildren, Brittany Morrow Barbour (Brandon), Drew Morrow, Lynnex Patterson and Case Patterson; great-granddaughter, Notla Barbour; and great-grandsons, Clayton Barbour, Noah and Caleb Broome; step-daughter Pamela Sneed Payne (Dexter) and stepson Daniel Sneed (Becky); step-grandchildren, Dakota Sneed, Seth Sneed, Gage Sneed, Justice McKay, Jarrett Sneed and Aerian McKay; brothers, Wayne Payne (Mary), Wade Howard (Linda), R.L. Howard (Debbie), Doug Howard (Shirley); and sister, Betty Roberson (James).
Harold was well known by the entire county and communities. He will be truly missed, but his family and friends rest in the fact that he is singing, playing and fishing in heaven with no more pain, heartache or worry in the presence of our Lord.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Townson-Rose Funeral Home Chapel in Murphy. The Revs. Doug Howard and Chip Siller officiated. Burial was in the Laurel Branch Cemetery in Bryson City. Pallbearers were Steve Hines, Robert Patterson, Drew Morrow, Brandon Barbour, Daniel Sneed and David Toney. Honorary pallbearers were Mush Davis, Tom Anderson, Sam Cole, Danny Sneed, Chip Siller, Mitchel Prince and Ronnie Ware.
The family receivef friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at Townson-Rose Funeral Home.
You may send tributes to the Howard family at www.townson-rose.com.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.