MARVIN GOINS HOWARD, 82, departed this earthly life on Friday, February 3, 2017, at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina. He was born in Warren County, Littleton, North Carolina, on November 3, 1934, and was the second of the eight children of Andrew Howard and Annie Brown Howard.
Being reared in a caring, loving, Christian home, Marvin accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during his youth. He was baptized and accepted into the fellowship of the former Olive Grove Baptist Church, now the Olive Grove Missionary Baptist Church, in Littleton, North Carolina, where he faithfully served Christ by attending Sunday school and singing in the choir.
Marvin received his early education at the Olive Grove School in Littleton, NC. In 1956, he graduated with his high school diploma from Warren County Training School, now Warren County High School. Afterwards, he married Rochelle L. Carter and relocated to Baltimore, Maryland. This union was blessed with two children, Angela and Audrey. While in Baltimore, Marvin became employed with Sears and Roebuck as an auto mechanic. Always blessed with a strong work ethic, he moved to Hampton, Virginia, in 1957, and worked at the Deaf and Blind School, while simultaneously serving as a driver for United Van Lines.
The ever-dedicated family man, Marvin earned his certification in automobile mechanics in 1958, from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University. In later years, to further diversify his knowledge and skills, he earned additional certification in welding, while also being employed with the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. As a dedicated and loyal employee, he felt a strong calling in his spirit to become an entrepreneur. Marching to the beat of his own drum, he overcame any doubts and fears, started his own excavating and landscaping business, M.G. Howard, Contractor, and successfully maintained and operated this venture for forty-three years until his retirement.
In 1976, Marvin returned home to Littleton, North Carolina, and reunited with the Olive Grove Baptist Church. He deepened his connection with Christ, as evidenced by his service in various roles including, the male chorus, chairman of the finance committee, and adult Sunday school teacher. Because he desired a greater understanding of the Word of God, he attended Bible study at the church and the United Bible Class of Warren County. It was a joy to him to donate and volunteer service to the church. Along with others, he assisted in the maintenance of the church grounds, cemetery upkeep, and the construction of a storage building. He believed “A job worth doing should be done well.”
Marvin remarried in 1978, to the former Mary Ann Parker. He then changed his church membership to the First Baptist Church in Weldon, North Carolina, and continued his Christian service as a church trustee and later as a Deacon ordained by Rev. Dr. John B. Moore. He saw no role in the church as unimportant, and gladly served as church bus driver, Sunday school teacher, and on the church council. In 1988, Marvin again reunited with his home church and remained a dutiful member until his death, having served as past chairman of the Deacon board, finance committee, and treasurer of the School Project.
Marvin’s community activities included memberships in the NAACP, Warren County Alumni Association, President of the Eaton Ferry Hunt Club, credentials election committee of the Halifax Electric Membership Corporation. A lover of mechanics, he was always tinkering and repairing machines and trucks in his shop. In his leisure, he enjoyed deer hunting with fellow club members. Being a true “Country Boy”, he loved to attend NASCAR races and cheer on his favorite drivers, along with his cousin, Eddie Fitts, and his now deceased cousin, Alexander Howard.
Marvin was a dedicated family man. He and his wife, Mary Ann, shared many days of happiness. Anyone who met him would not forget his bold sense of humor, hearty laugh, and his ability to talk about anything, regardless of the subject, he was certainly the expert. He had a penchant for sharing funny stories and anecdotes about the mischievous things he, his brothers, and cousins did as children. After he became ill, when asked how he was doing, his response would often be, “I am doing the best I can with what I got.”
Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Alvin, Belton, and Gerald; and a close cousin, Reavis Bagley.
Those remaining to cherish every precious reflection of his life are his wife, Mary Ann of the home; two daughters, Angela Brown of Littleton, NC, and Audrey Howard of Hampton, VA; his stepson, R. Keith Parker (Angela) of Atlanta, GA; his goddaughter, Leslie Johnson of Durham, NC; a daughter of the heart, Anita Lowe (Melvin) of Roanoke Rapids, NC; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one brother, Bobby Howard (Linda) of Hampton, VA; two sisters, Doris Howard and Lane Nesbit (Bill) of Baltimore, MD; three sisters-in-law, Alice Howard of Littleton, NC, Phyllis Jenkins (Thomas) of DeBary, FL, and Mildred Howard of Philadelphia, PA; two brothers-in-law, William Wilson of St. Petersburg, FL, and Ronald Wilson of Washington, DC; a special cousin, Modessa Johnson; a devoted friend, Gloria Harrison; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Olive Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Littleton, NC. The Pastor, Rev. Charles E. Walton, will deliver the eulogy, and burial will follow in the church cemetery. The body will repose at the funeral home from 9:30 A.M. – 8:30 P.M. on Friday, February 10, 2017, and on Saturday at the church for one hour prior to the funeral time.