Mourners remember state Rep. Henry ‘Wayne’ Howard

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A funeral service for late state Rep. Henry “Wayne” Howard is taking place in Augusta.

It began at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Bell Auditorium on Telfair Street in downtown Augusta.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams sent someone to speak on her behalf.

Howard died last week at age 67.

“We have lost a husband, father, grandfather, brother and all around family man who valued and loved us unconditionally, just as we did him,” his family said in a statement.

One of the people at his service was State Representative Carolyn Hugely from West Georgia, who served with both Howard and his father Henry.

“Wayne was just like his dad. He was a gentleman. He showed quiet strength and dignity. He was a great legislator. Always prepared and always standing up for the people of Augusta,” she said.

We spoke to a woman who went to Laney High School with him back in the day and Charles Lyons, who met him at Augusta College in the ‘70s.

“He never did anything just off the cuff. He was always profound, thoughtful, took a lot of care in making decisions, and I always found him to be a very caring humble individual who cared about mankind,” said Lyons.

Howard was the representative for District 129 and was unopposed for re-election.

In their statement, his family noted his leadership role not only in the community but at home.

“He was a pillar in our family, the Augusta community and the state of Georgia. While we grieve, we also celebrate the life he led and example he set for all of us; we were blessed to have him,” the family said.

In the private sector in the upholstery and then clothing fields, he was named Businessman of the Year by the CSRA Business League in 1977. He was also honored in 1994 with an Outstanding Service Award from the administration of Lucy Craft Laney High School for his involvement in starting a mentoring program.

But he ultimately followed in the footsteps of his father as a state lawmaker.

In 2006, his father, Henry Howard, died while representing Georgia House District 121, then Henry Howard’s widow, Wayne Howard’s stepmother Earnestine Howard, ran unopposed and won the seat.

The following term, Wayne Howard ran against his stepmother for the seat.