Bill Rudolph Howard, 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 14, 2022 at his home in Augusta, Georgia after a courageous battle with Leukemia and Congestive Heart Failure. He was preceded in death by his parents, A.J. and Pearl Fretwell Howard, his sister, Betty Ruth Hedrick, and step-brother, James Henry Howard.
Bill was born on November 9, 1933 in Byron, Georgia. He graduated from Byron High School where he lettered in varsity basketball. As a young boy, he worked on the family farm and in the peach orchards of Peach County. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Norman College where he played basketball. He was awarded a basketball scholarship to the University of Georgia where he furthered his education and also became a member of Chi Psi Fraternity. He graduated from UGA in 1957 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
After graduation, he was the coach of the baseball and basketball teams at Dearing High School. Two years later he decided to make a career change. He joined Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. After also continuing to advance with the National Life Insurance Company, he returned to Augusta and bought a family business, John L. Armstrong Insurance Company, where he represented many large insurance carriers. While representing St. Paul Insurance, as well as Surety Life, Bill achieved Top Producer several times throughout his career.
Family was important to Bill. He loved his children dearly and was active in their various activities when they were young. Among other things, he coached the youth football program in the Tucker, Georgia Football League.
He was an avid golfer throughout his life until recently when his health began declining. He was a member of West Lake Country Club where he enjoyed playing golf for almost 50 years. He always looked forward to trips with golfing buddies, especially the “Cheap Heap” Boys. Bill also enjoyed spending time on St. Simons Island, attending UGA football games, tailgating, and spending time in Athens with special old friends while cheering on his beloved DAWGS.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 36 years: Robbie Kimbrel Howard; two sons: Paul William Howard and wife Betty of Alpharetta; Richard Lawrence Howard and fiancée Weatherly Haslam of Macon; one daughter: Melissa Marie Fruit of Augusta; four grandchildren: Charles Fruit and Davis Fruit of Augusta, Erin Howard Bell and husband Mike of Milton, Kelly Ann Howard of Alpharetta, and one great granddaughter, Isla Ann Bell of Milton; a brother-in-law, Dr. Rick Kimbrel and wife Vicki of St. Simons Island and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family extends their sincere gratitude to Dr. Danny Newman and Sandra Reynolds for their love and care for Bill and to Dr. Jigarkumar Parikh and the nurses and staff on the 4th floor of the Georgia Cancer Center at Piedmont Hospital for their support and kindness.
Bill will be greatly missed by his loving family and his many devoted friends.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at noon in the chapel of Thomas Poteet & Son and will be officiated by Mr. Garn Capps. The family will receive guests at 11:00 A.M. prior to the service. Burial will follow at 4:30 P.M. in Omega Cemetery, Baxley, Georgia with Rev. Mark Carter officiating.
Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors & Swain Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.
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