October 7, 2005
It was dark and dreary outside Good Shepherd Baptist Church Friday afternoon. But inside, spirits were upbeat as hundreds gathered to remember Georgia State Representative Henry Howard. And those who knew him best tell News 12 that Mr. Howard’s life was well lived.
Lawmakers from the local and state levels as well as folks from all over the CSRA paused to reflect on the contributions of Henry Howard and most people say his leadership will be missed and his shoes will be tough to fill.
Quiet and rainy outside Good Shepard Baptist but inside it was as if the heavens had opened up. Mourners were making a joyful noise to honor and memorialize State Representative Henry Howard.
“He did a lot for me, and he’s done a lot for the state of Georgia as well as Augusta as a whole, so he’s going to be sorely missed, sorely missed,” said Patricia McGruder, friend.
Henry Howard, the man whose life suddenly ended on Sunday quietly in his sleep. A man who now has hundreds coming to pay their respects.
“It took a lot for me to go in there and say my last goodbyes, but he’s in a better place,” McGruder said.
A true homecoming celebration for Howard with a beat of the drums and the hands clapping, some friends take a look back on the life of a man who was a father, a musician, but perhaps best known as a people’s politician.
“He was not the type of legislator who went to the well to speak on every bill, but when he spoke, you knew it was important and you knew you better listen,” said Cathy Cox, Secretary of State.
Secretary of State Cathy Cox first met Mr. Howard years ago when she was elected to the Georgia House and says he quickly became a close friend.
“He was really a father figure to all of us younger legislators. We knew that we could go to him for guidance and wisdom,” Cox said.
But for others, Mr. Howard has been around all their life.
“You’ll never in life find nobody like him, he’s a beautiful person. He’s like a father figure,” said Geraldine McMillan, friend.
He’s been described as a quiet mover and shaker and getting big things done for Augusta and for Georgia.
“His handshake was as good as any written contract. He was a person of his word, but most of all, he put God first,” said Interim Mayor Willie Mays.
“He believes in helping people in a Christian-like way. We couldn’t, Augusta couldn’t ask for anything better than Representative, Brother Henry Howard,” said Queenie Childs, friend.