Obituary of Bill Howard
William P. Howard, Jr. was born on February 8, 1949, in Harlan, Kentucky. He was one of fifteen children born to the union of William P. Howard Sr. and Phoebe (Hensley) Howard. Bill, as he became commonly known, graduated with the class of 1967, from Hall High School in Greys Knob, Kentucky. Shortly after graduation, Bill moved to Michigan for work. He took a position with the Ford Motor Company, gainfully employed for many years as a Sway Bar worker.
Bill's life took a remarkable turn when he spotted the former Joyce Johnson sitting on her porch one day. It was love at first sight, and just three months later, on August 8, 1970, they exchanged their wedding vows. Their marriage was filled with love and happiness, and together they were blessed with the joy of raising three children.
Nicknamed “Alabama” by many, due to his striking resemblance to the lead singer of the country group by the same name, Bill was known for his friendly personality and welcoming smile. His pleasant demeanor left a lasting impression on everyone he met. What truly set him apart was his selflessness and concern for others. He always made sure that those around him were taken care of before focusing any attention on himself. His generosity and kindness were unwavering, and his friends and family learned to cherish the many moments they shared with him.
Bill "Alabama" Howard was a familiar face at his favorite watering hole, Mugsy's Sports Grille & Bar, where he was often found enjoying chicken wings at his designated high-top table. In fact, Bill was so well-known at the popular restaurant that they even personalized his favorite seat with a name plate.
In his free time, Bill enjoyed fishing on Lake Erie and hunting squirrels and rabbits locally with his handgun. He used these time-honored traditions to create everlasting memories with his loved ones. Bill also enjoyed watching old western movies, listening to country music, and games of chance, trying his hand often with the three-digit lottery and keno.
William P. Howard, Jr., age 74 of Monroe, passed away unexpectedly at 5:35pm on Tuesday; September 26, 2023, in the Emergency Department of ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital. His passing was preceded by his parents; nine siblings: Arthur, Robert, Orville, Wesley, Beatrice, Harold, Donald, Lawrence, and Alfred; and a granddaughter: Alexis Jade DeMay.
To cherish his memory, he leaves a beloved wife of fifty-three years: Joyce Howard of Monroe; three children: Kimberly (Tony) Palys of Monroe, Billy (Shannon) Howard of LaSalle, and Tina (Justin) DeMay of LaSalle; five siblings: Enos (Alice) Howard of LaSalle, Lola Newton of Monroe, Carmen (Vernon) Smith of Nicholasville, Kentucky, Carol (Herbert) Lumpp of Jasper, Indiana, and Patty Smith of Manteno, Illinois; four grandchildren: Trevor Palys, Alison Burke-Howard, Madison DeMay, and Tyler DeMay; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may gather on Monday; October 2, 2023, from 4:00pm until 8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of His Life will take place on Tuesday; October 3, 2023, at 11:00am also at Merkle’s. A procession to Roselawn Memorial Park will immediately follow the service.
Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or to share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.