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Jack Howard


Funeral services for Jack Howard, 82, of Purcell were held March 1, 2024 at the Watonga Church of the Nazarene. Burial was at the West Mt. Pleasant Cemetery under the direction of the Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell.

Mr. Howard passed away peacefully surrounded by family on February 27, 2024.

Jackie Ray Howard was born on January 11, 1942 in Geary, Oklahoma, the oldest of eight children born to Gus Lee Howard and Gladys Arizona (Reeves) Howard. He started school in Geary and later attended high school in El Reno.

He served in the United States Air Force before being honorably discharged. Jack married his best friend and soul mate, Carolyn June Elston on May 22, 1964. They made their home in Watonga where together they raised their children, sons, Brad and Bobby and daughter, Amy.

Jack drove a truck for several years. He was an entrepreneur who owned and operated J & C Oil Field Company,  Howard’s Phillips 66  and Jack Howard Wrecker Service for many  years.  Later in life, after the oil bust in the 80’s, Jack began working campus maintenance for Watonga Public Schools, and he loved the day-to-day interaction with all of the kids. Jack served on the School Board for a while, and was very proud of the new elementary school and the media center completed during his time of service.

He dedicated years of his life researching his family history, studying genealogy and going on road trips visiting cemeteries all over the country. He was never prouder than the day he became “Papa Jack.” He was onery, a silly soul, and he nicknamed all of his grandchildren. Every year around the holidays, he masterfully prepared his homemade beef jerky, and then gifted all of his kids and grandkids a bread sack full.

He has seen every episode of Gunsmoke, Bonanza and every John Wayne movie a hundred times, and he looked forward to a good card game of pitch. Jack was a man’s man, who lived his life on his terms, and he lived by a strong faith. He cherished Carolyn, his family and especially his grandchildren He will be dearly missed!

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gus and Gladys Howard; brother, Tom Howard; and son, Brad Howard.

Jack is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn June Howard of the home; daughter, Amy Howard Tolle and husband, Mike, of Purcell, son, Bobby Howard and wife, Amy, of Benton, Ark.; sisters, Pat Brewer and Peggy Franks, both of Watonga, Connie Blackerby and husband, Roger, of Kingfisher and Tiny Hamilton of Tulsa; brothers, Jerry Dale Howard and wife, Ethel, of Hitchcock and Mike Howard of Watonga; 11 grandchildren, Kylie Hayes and husband, Dylan, Madisyn Tolle, Karlee Grace Tolle, Maci Howard and husband, Devin, Wyatt Howard and fiancé, Mallorie, Colby Howard, Grady Howard, William Hartfield and wife, Aarti, Bridget Blood and husband, James, Mika Pounds and husband, Brandon, and Bailey McDoulett and husband, Rowdy; eight great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other family and friends.

Online condolences may be made at wilsonlittle.com.