Smith Wesley Howard
March 22, 1944 – November 2, 2018
In Loving Memory of Smith Wesley Howard
He never looked for praises His dreams were seldom spoken
He was never one to boast His wants were very few
He just went on quietly working And most of the time his worries
For the ones he loved the most. Went unspoken too.
He was there...a firm foundation A true friend we can turn to
Through all storms of life When times were good or bad
A sturdy hand to hold on to One of our greatest blessings
In times of stress and strife. The man we call DAD.
Smith Wesley Howard, Jr. was born on March 22, 1944, to Hazel Balthazar Howard and Smith W. Howard, Sr. in Berkeley, California. A child of educators, he continued that legacy and was a servant leader both inside and out of the classroom for his entire life. He graduated from Holy Spirit Elementary School and H. B. Pemberton High School in Marshall, Texas. Smith was a proud graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, LA., where he majored in French and was affectionately known as “Smitty”. At Xavier University, Smith met the love of his life, Janice Rouzan, on the first day of college where they became joined at the hip, attending every undergraduate class together except one as French majors in what many would call a “storybook” romance.
Understanding that there was freedom in education, Smith began his journey as a servant leader at Xavier University, spending his free time on social justice issues, such as helping to register African American voters and teaching classes to prepare unregistered voters to pass the literacy test. A lifelong scholar, Smith acquired his Master’s Degree in Counseling from Southeastern Oklahoma University in Durant, Oklahoma. Smith worked tirelessly for forty-four years in DISD, teaching, mentoring and counseling thousands of students from J. N. Ervin, Roosevelt and Lincoln High Schools, retiring in 2011.
It is said there is only one thing more precious than time and that is who we spend it with. Smith gave of his time freely to his family as a devoted son, husband, brother, father, uncle, godfather and grandfather. He assisted as a soccer coach for his two sons, Mark and Stephen, never missing a practice, event or game, continuing this tradition of being present with his grandchildren, Gabrielle, Sean, Jayda, Ayden, and Isabella.
Second only to his devotion to his family was his passion for helping others achieve their potential as he spent much of his time supporting the students and institutions he worked in DISD and his alma mater, Xavier University. On any night you could find “Smitty” representing Xavier University at various college fairs across the metroplex. He was also active in the Catholic Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church for many years, including service on the Diocesan School Advisory Board, Unity Explosion Steering Committee, United Commission of Black Catholics and a host of other church-related activities. His service exemplified his devotion to his Catholic faith.
A quiet giant, standing at six feet and three inches, Smith left an imprint on all who crossed paths with him. Stories abound of him empowering students to not only attend college but succeed in college and life. True to his character, he never took credit for these selfless acts of servant leadership. Character and integrity were ingrained in Smith’s DNA. He never forgot his values and morals and always took action for what he believed. A voracious reader, Smith not only enjoyed reading about other cultures but visiting them as well, traveling the globe with wife Janice, always with a glass of wine in hand.
Smith will not only be remembered by his unique telephone goodbye (abrupt hanging up) but by the fact that he lived life to its fullest. Although he passed at a young age of 74, every year of his life was filled with meaning and purpose. While we are sad that we are now without his witty commentary on any and every subject, we rejoice because his pain and suffering are now over as his legacy lives on. Please pray for his family, but in particular his wife, Janice, who never left his side through his long and sometimes tortuous battle with cancer. Any who were lucky enough to meet them felt their unconditional love. On November 2, 2018, after his last grandchild arrived, Smith’s family gathered and kissed him goodbye with his favorite jazz melodies playing in the background. As his loving wife held his hand, Smith’s soul peacefully joined the heavenly hosts.
Smith is preceded in death by his parents, Smith and Hazel, brother, Nicholas, sister-in-law, Sheila, and brothers-in-law, Oscar and George. We rejoice in our love and leap for joy at his life: wife, Janice; sons, Mark and Stephen; grandchildren, Gabrielle, Sean, Jayda, Ayden, Isabella; sisters, Carole and Vicki; sisters-in-law, Sandra and Gwen; brothers-in-law, Sherbie and Joe; daughters-in-law, Tracey and Javin; nieces & nephews, Kevin, Howard, Nicholas, Rodney, Leah, Aliya, Allison, Aaron, Linda, Donna, Angie, David, Alan; and great nieces & nephews, Alicia, Anita, Lea,
- Rosary Service Friday, November 9, 2018
- Funeral Mass Saturday, November 10, 2018
- Reception Following the Mass Saturday, November 10, 2018
Smith Wesley Howard
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November 17, 2018
Smitty and Jan were a great support to me and stood with my children for confirmation when I needed help. I am deeply saddened but know that you are in good hands with the Lord. Rest in peace my friend, Gloria, Tiffany, Clinton, Tasha will meet you in heaven.
Mary Montle Bacon
November 11, 2018
Though I did not know Smitty, I wanted to express my condolences to Janice on her loss. Though late, I hope that just knowing that your old friend cares brings you a modicum of comfort. Reading the obituary not only made it clear how wonderful a person Smitty was but also emphasized what a tremendous loss this was for you given your great relationship. I do hope that our paths cross again in the future.
Mary (Montle) Bacon
November 10, 2018
Mr. Howard was one of the best teachers I had at Lincoln High School. I was not one of the best students, but he would go above and beyond, making sure you understood what he was actually teaching, all the while encouraging you while telling you, you're better than you think. I remember I was failing his class and he spent an extra hour with me. At the end of the 6 weeks, I got an A. He is the one teacher that crossed my mind quite frequently after all these years. 45 to be exact!
I would like to offer my Condolensed to his family and will have them in prayer.
November 9, 2018
My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Janice Howard and the entire family of the passing of the Patriach of your family. May God send His Spirit of Comfort and Strength at this time. May Mr. Smith Howard Rest In perfect peace.
November 8, 2018
In God’s Grace,
I extend my condolences to the Smith Howard Family. My first opportunity to get to know and work with Smith was as his principal of Lincoln Humanities/Communication Magnet H. S.
Smith was a part of the counseling foundation which provided support to the students and their families. Always calm, a straight-shooter, and supportive in every-way.
His knowledge of so many things allowed you to go to him about anything for advise and support.
May God provide the comfort to the family that He only can provide.
Earl A. Jones, former principal of Lincoln Humanities/Communications High School
November 8, 2018
My condolences to this loving family. Mr. Howard was a calm and powerful leader, mentor, colleague and friend. I will always remember him and respect his great legacy.
Juanita M. Simmon
Formerly of Lincoln Humanities/Com. Magnet
November 7, 2018
We are deeply saddened by Smitty’s passing. Our sincere condolences are extended to Janice, Mark, Stephen and their families, and to the Howard and Rouzan families and friends. We share your sorrow.
Smitty deserves all the accolades one can think of because he was one of the finest men with whom it was my pleasure to be acquainted. For all that he did for Xavier we are deeply grateful. May he Rest In Peace.
James (Jimmy) Patterson
November 4, 2018
Our sincere condolences to the family of Smith, a lifelong friend and neighbor in Marshall, Tx.