Dr. Farrar Wakefield Howard Sr, 91, New Kent Family Physician and dedicated community member

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Dr. Farrar Howard
Dr. Farrar Howard

Dr. Farrar Wakefield Howard Sr., 91, graduated to Glory on Sept. 1, 2016.

He was the youngest of four children born to the late Samuel N. Howard and Malissa Brinder Martin. Dr. Howard was raised in the Glen Echo community of Henrico County and was a 1943 graduate of Highland Springs High School.

During WW II, he served as a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following his military service, he began his studies at the University of Richmond to become a physician, fulfilling his call to care for others. He graduated in 1949, and four years later received his medical degree from MCV. In 1950, Dr. Howard married his beloved wife, Jeannette, who had earned her nursing degree from MCV. They moved to Charles City in 1954 where they raised six children. Through their family medical practice, they served Charles City and New Kent Counties, meeting the needs of families within 800 square miles.

Dr. Howard was a faithful Christian servant. For 45 years, Dr. Howard was active in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church as a Sunday School teacher, lay preacher, deacon, and choir member. He led a team of 13 doctors and nurses on a medical mission to Antigua in 1983, and was part of a Budapest, Hungary evangelistic team in 1992. During the 1980s, he aided in the Supervised Ministry Program of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1995, he served as moderator of the Dover Baptist Association. He was also a longtime member of the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship, and in recent years, Dr. and Mrs. Howard graded test papers for the Gospel Jail Ministries.

An American Tree Farmer since 1958, Dr. Howard was appointed for consecutive terms to the Virginia Board of Forestry by Governors Wilder and Baliles. During those terms, he served on the board of directors and was instrumental in the 1991 passing of House Senate Joint Resolution No. 318 for the benefit of tree farmers. In 1997, Dr. and Mrs. Howard were awarded the National Outstanding Tree Farmer Award for their Mapsico tree farm in Charles City County.

Dr. Howard served the Commonwealth of Virginia for 30 years as a state medical examiner and for 20 years on the medical examiner’s draft board. He also took part in a 1974 Civilian Fact Finding Mission to Israel with Senator Harry F. Byrd.

In 1946, he joined the Masonic Order and was a current member of Mann Page Lodge No. 157 AF & AM in Providence Forge. He was recently recognized for serving as a Mason for 70 years. Dedicated to his community and its citizens, he volunteered as the team physician for New Kent High School, gave generously to many causes—including the formation of the Providence Forge Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1962 and the Heritage Public Library—and was an honorary member of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe. In 1976, as part of America’s bicentennial celebration, Dr. Howard helped form a community choir and was honored to sing at the White House. He was also instrumental in restoring the historic name of G.W. Watkins to the elementary school in New Kent.

Dr. Howard was preceded in death by a great-grandson, Hawkins Bowman, Jr.; siblings, Marshall Bradford, Evelyn and Mildred; and nephews, Howard Lee and Marshall Brown.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jeannette Adele Windsor Howard; six children and their spouses, Farrar Jr. (Wakie) and Rose Howard, Samuel and Joanne Howard, Martin and Debbie Howard, Ruth and David Hennaman, Bradford and Sharon Howard, and Bruce and Betty Howard; 16 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

No one could question Dr. Howard’s dedication and love for his family, patients, community, and country that stemmed from his faith in the Lord. He strongly believed that human life is sacred; is composed of body, mind, soul, spirit; and is exhibited by love for God and others. As a physician, he and his staff never failed to offer their best effort, regardless of social position.

He will long be remembered by one of his favorite sayings, “The love you liberate in your work is the love you ultimately keep. Your life and mind shall be valued…not by what we take…but by what we give.”

A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18th at New Kent High School, 7365 Egypt Rd., New Kent, VA 23124. Memorial contributions can be made to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 19300 The Glebe Ln., Charles City, VA 23030, or to HopeTree Family Services, P.O. Box 849, Salem, VA 24153.