John Darvin Howard, of Dallas, Texas, passed away on Feb. 16, 2014, at the age of 91. He was born on July 9, 1922 in Biardstown, Texas, to Nita Kennemer and Gaither Artis Howard.
John grew up in Lamar County in east Texas and graduated from Paris Junior College. After graduation, he went to work for the Paris News until he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He served as a navigator on “The Black Cat,” a B-24 bomber, and flew 30 missions out of Attlebridge, England, with the 8th Air Force. His crew also flew three gasoline delivery missions to support General Patton’s troops in France.
At the end of WWII, John returned to Texas where he attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated as a petroleum engineer. He met and married his bride of 65 years, Norma Jeanne Kelley, while he was at the University.
John went on to work for Mobil Oil Corporation where he retired with 35 years of service in 1984. John and Norma lived in several small Texas towns, Oklahoma City, Denver, Dallas and Midland before moving to Houston for his last assignment at Mobil. After retirement in Houston, John spent many happy hours on the golf course and traveling to the Cayman Islands with his friends and family. John and Norma moved to Dallas two years ago to be near their children.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Melba Howard; his brother, Travis Howard; and his grandson Darren Tremblay.
John is survived by his wife; one son, J. Kelley Howard and wife, Susan, of Plano, Texas; one daughter, Gayle Tremblay and husband, Roger, of Dallas, Texas; two brothers, Kenneth Howard and wife, Sue, of Albuquerque, N.M, and Edgar Howard and wife, Dee, of Houston, Texas; one brother-in-law Willam, H. Kelley and wife, Barbara, of Seguin, Texas; two granddaughters, Anna Dvorak and husband, Asad Kirmani of Austin, Texas, and Sarah Cordett, of Orange, Calilf.; one grandson, Jeff Howard, of Plano, Texas; two great-grandchildren, Will and Zoe Cordett, both of Orange, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation was planned at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at McCurdy Funeral Home in Lockhart, Texas. The service will follow in the chapel at the funeral home at 1:30 p.m. with interment to follow at Lockhart City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in memory of John D. Howard to the Collings Foundation, dedicated to preserving the history of WWII, P.O. Box 248, Stow, Mass., 01775, Attn: Mary Holtorf or to Baylor College of Medicine benefitting ophthalmology research programs, One Baylor Plaza, MS: BCM160, Houston, Texas, 77030.
Arrangements under the care and guidance of McCurdy Funeral Home, 105 E. Pecan, Lockhart, Texas 78644, (512) 398-4791. To view and sign the guestbook, visit www.post-register.com/john-darvin-howard.