Virginia Beach, Virginia – COL (Ret) Howard Mordecia Williams Sr., age 92, passed away on December 3, 2023, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was born on September 14, 1931, in Elloree, South Carolina to the late Marion Robert Williams and Ethel Blondell (Waymer) Williams.
Howard was a deeply religious man of faith and lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. He served his country with honor and distinction as a 30-year career Army Infantry officer and aviator. He was rated on Rotary and Fixed wing aircraft. Howard made history as the first SCSU ROTC graduate to become an Army aviator, contributing to the integration of Army Aviation. Notably, he commanded an Infantry Battalion in the 1st Armored Division in W. Germany and served as the Dean of Student Affairs at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA.
Passionate about mentoring and training future Army officers, Howard took great pride in his role as the Professor of Military Science at Norfolk State University where he mentored and trained future Army officers. He was a Master Army Aviator and received numerous accolades for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 17 clusters, and the Legion of Merit. In recognition of his achievements, Howard was inducted into the South Carolina State College ROTC Hall of Fame in 1979 and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Army Black Aviation Association (USABAA), Inc. He has also been inducted into the United States Army Aviation Museum having flown 3663 hrs with 587 combat hrs.
Outside of his military career, Howard pursued his passion for financial planning and became a Certified Financial Planner. He worked as an Independent Contractor with JJSA Advisors, LTD, aiming to assist those in the academic community in better planning for their retirements.
Aside from his military service, Howard had a passion for his community and was actively involved in various organizations. He served as a Senior Steward, Sunday School
Teacher, and President of the Lay Organization at St. John’s AME Church. He was a dedicated member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc for over 70 years and an active member of the SCSU Tidewater Peninsula Alumni Chapter. Howard was also appointed to the Social Services Board, Mayor’s Committee on Aging; Citizen Advisory Committee; and the Community Action Resource Empowerment (CARE) Committee of Virginia Beach. In Norfolk, VA, Howard served as a Board member of the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center, Inc. He was a member of the Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men, Inc. and holds a life membership in the NAACP.
Howard was married to the former Miriam Bowman for over 70 years. Together, they reared three children: LTC (Ret) Howard M Williams, Jr. (Vielka) of Alexandria, VA, and Valerie Archie (Chris) of Missouri City, TX. He was preceded in death by his son, Dorian Bowman Williams. He adored his seven grandchildren – Logan Williams, Alexis (Dave) Jones, Danielle Williams, Douglas (Thalia) Williams, Christina Archie, Dorian Archie, and Jerona Archie, as well as his six great-grandchildren – Daisha Davis, Hosea Fontenot, Wes Williams, Leo Williams, Carter Jones, and Makenna Jones.
Howard’s military service began in 1953 and spanned until his retirement in 1983, serving in the U.S. Army. His hobbies were varied and included playing football in high school and college, fishing, bowling, golf (lots of trophies) and playing bridge with the love of his life, Miriam