Howard Eugene Woods was born on June 1, 1928, in Knoxville, TN, to the late Charlie Reid and Olivia Baker. He peacefully departed this life on Sunday, December 22, 2019, at Twin Towers Hospice Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
At the age of six, after the death of his father, Howard lived in The Knoxville Colored Orphanage, which became The Ethel Beck Home. Howard was a product of the Knoxville Public School System, attending Maynard Elementary, Beardsley Middle School and graduating from Austin High School, in 1946. He attended Knoxville College during the 1947 and 1948 academic years.
After relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio, Howard rendered his military commitment by serving in the U.S. Army, from 1954-1956. He entered at Ft. Knox, KY, attended school at Ft. Belvar, VA, for Army supply, ending his service at England Air Force Base, with an Honorable Discharge.
Howard was joined, in holy matrimony, to Leatitia Wimbush, of Knoxville, TN, on October 23, 1954. This blessed union resulted in the birth of two daughters, Brenda and Audrey Woods.
Howard enjoyed a robust career with the U.S. Postal Service, serving 30 years in Distribution Clerk, Expediter and Dock Clerk positions, with excellence and enthusiasm, at the Cincinnati Main Post Office and Cincinnati Bulk Mail Center, in Sharonville, OH.
Howard was passionate about civil rights issues, voting initiatives and political campaigns. Howard would participate in protest marches and picket unjust businesses. He worked on phone banks and rallies for both of President Obama’s campaigns, as well as local issues and other campaigns. He was adamant about voting and sharing his passion with anyone who considered to skip voting.
The message is in the music. Howard was a music aficionado. As a child, he and his sister, Mary, sang on Knoxville live radio broadcasts and talent shows. He was a skilled pianist and played the guitar. His eclectic tastes, from Classical, Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Funk provide a rich collection of items fueling his love of live music…and meeting the artists. Howard’s most cherished moments were his tour bus and backstage visits with B.B. King, The Emotions and The Stylistics, singing “I’d Rather Be With You” on stage, with Bootsy, meeting our cousin, Maurice Lauchner, who was “The Preacher Man” in the Tyler Perry play, “Madea on the Run”, and travelling with The James McCray Choral Ensemble to Epcot and ultimately to The Grammy’s.
It has been written that the purpose of Freemasonry, in part, is to make better men out of good men, better fathers, better husbands, better brothers and better sons. Howard lived his creed in the membership and leadership of the following organizations: St. John’s Lodge No. 3, Prince White Chapter No.1 (RAM), John P. Stein Council No.12, Simon Commandery No.1 (Knights Templar), King Solomon Consistory No.20, Golden Link Chapter #91 and Sinai Temple No.59.
He was preceded in death, by his parents, wife, Leatitia I. Woods, two brothers, William Baker, Wiseman Baker, 5 sisters, Betty Jo Woods, Ophelia Day, Carolyn Baker, Francis Baker and Betsy Baker.
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