Howard, Col. G.B. NEWPORT NEWS – The flag flying over the capitol today flies in memory of a Newport News resident who served his country and this city for a combined total of 56 years. Col. G.B. Howard, U.S. Army retired, died at Riverside Convalescent Center on July 28. He was 77. Howard graduated from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C., in 1945 at the age of 18 and served in the U.S. Army until his retirement on Nov. 31, 1977. He served as a company commander in Korea and later served in Vietnam. During his 32 years of active duty, he received the World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Korean Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster. After his retirement, Howard and his wife Deborah operated a landscaping business in Denbigh, and he became an active member of the Denbigh Kiwanis Club. Known to thousands of area pre-school children as Uncle Rick, Howard helped start the Denbigh Kiwanis Club’s Joy of Reading program in 1988. Howard read to children five days a week in 25 different classrooms until he was hospitalized in 2003. He shared books with children in Head Start programs in the Aqueduct, Cypress Terrace and Oyster Point housing complexes and the Denbigh, Magruder and Warwick Early Childhood Centers. An Eagle Scout, Howard continued his involvement with scouting as a member of the area’s Boy Scout Council Board, headed the first Commissioner’s College and was a commissioner for many years. He also served as a member and chair of the Newport News Youth Services Commission. He once told a Daily Press reporter, ‘I like to see smiles on kids’ faces.’ Howard is survived by his wife, Deborah, sister, Mary Bowen, two sons, Greg and Brad Howard, and four grandchildren, Brandon, Ben, Max, and Maddy Howard. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 14, at Colony Friends Church on Colony Road. Memorials may be made to the Kiwanis Club of Denbigh.
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