Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
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Lieutenant Colonel Joe E. Howard, USAF (retired), passed away peacefully on March 21, 2022, after a long and rewarding life. Joe was born on June 6, 1929, in Pittsburg, Texas to H. B. "Kingfish" and Cora Belle Howard.
Fascinated wi... Read More
Lieutenant Colonel Joe E. Howard, USAF (retired), passed away peacefully on March 21, 2022, after a long and rewarding life. Joe was born on June 6, 1929, in Pittsburg, Texas to H. B. "Kingfish" and Cora Belle Howard.
Fascinated with aviation, Joe flew spirits into a dry county in his mid-to-late teen years. He built on that success by joining the Air Force to become a jet fighter pilot after the outbreak of the Korean Conflict in the early 1950s. Joe deployed for three extended Vietnam tours, during which he flew hundreds of combat missions, earning multiple decorations, to include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class, the Meritorious Service Medal, and 27 Air Medals. Joe was the preferred wingman to a few jet aces and flew many historic missions, two of which became popular motion pictures.
Joe met Louise Dean in Albany, Georgia, after the Korean Conflict, and married her - the only love of his life - on April 30, 1955. They spent 57 years together.
Joe earned his Master's in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and worked in the procurement division of the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation. Joe loved managing the road striping crews and painting the reflective safety markings across Texas highways. He retired after 20 years of meritorious state service.
Joe was a 32-degree Mason, with a quiet and deep Christian faith.
Preceded in passing by his sisters; Susan O'Dee Singleton and Ruby Flo Garrett; and brothers Weldon, Otho, "Shorty", Robert, and Ben Keith. Joe is survived by his daughter, Laura Lynn Howard; his son, Joe Gregory Howard and his wife, Katherine; his grandchildren, Roland Joseph and Kathryn Lynn Kinney, and Nicole M. Dietz (USAF), nee Howard, and Sean Garrett Howard; and his great-grandson, Everett James Dietz.
A memorial service will be held at Harrell's Funeral Home, 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, Texas 78745 on April 23, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. Soon, he will join Lou at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, where they will rest together.
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