On November 10, 2020, world traveler and host extraordinaire, Hall Caldwell “Sonny” Howard Jr. embarked on his final journey just days after his 84th birthday. He had many times on Gasparilla Island, and will be missed by many here.
Sonny was born in Dothan, Alabama, on November 7, 1936, to a school teacher and a civil engineer, Marie Rogers and H.C. Howard, Sr. He graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Class of 1955. Always a proud Ramblin’ Wreck, Sonny attended Georgia Tech graduating in Civil Engineering, 1959. Mr. Howard enjoyed a thirty-year career in the insurance industry in Fort Myers.
Serving as Editor of Georgia Tech’s annual, the 1959 Blue Print, was one of Mr. Howard’s proudest achievements. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Ramblin’ Wreck Club.
Passions throughout life included historic houses, travel, and tennis. In retirement Sonny ran the Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Micanopy, Florida, where he was known for regaling guests with tales of the resident ghost, ‘Inez.’ He enjoyed worldwide travels, eighteen visits to Hawaii, and annual trips to New Orleans and the Cotswolds in England.
Mr. Howard retired to the historic Hayes House in Blowing Rock, N.C. There he welcomed many guests, hosted Thanksgiving, attended the Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis, played tennis, enjoyed downtown, and fed the local swans.
Sonny’s last years were spent with family in Social Circle, Georgia. He enjoyed the local men’s coffee group, and services at Social Circle Methodist Church. Around town he showed his THWG Ramblin’ Wreck spirit by sporting his GT ball cap.
Mr. Howard is preceded in death by his parents, his elder sister Joyce, and his youngest son, Andrew Carr Howard. He is survived by children, Laura Howard of Atlanta, Alan Howard (Julie) of Social Circle, Ashley Menser (Aaron) of Raleigh, NC, and cousin Jeff Mayton of Montgomery. As well as grandchildren, Alex, Taylor, AJ, Stevie, Frances, Janine, and Michael, and great-grandchildren Eden and Gabe. He is survived also by former spouses Mary and Cindy. He will be greatly missed by friends and his large extended family.
A celebration will be held in Aimwell, Alabama, followed by gathering at Ezell’s Fish Camp.