Thomas W. Howard, 91, of Mount Hope, passed away Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, at his residence.
Born Feb. 11, 1922, in Mount Hope, he was the son of the late Charles E. and Gwendolyn "Gwen" Williams Howard.
Mr. Howard was a 1939 graduate of Mount Hope High School and studied a year at Greenbrier Military Institute, Lewisburg, and then went on to West Virginia University, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in mining engineering.
He served his country during World War II, fighting in the Pacific Theater aboard the LST 880.
He was a member of Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, where he served for many years as a deacon, trustee and teacher of the men's Bible class.
He was an avid pilot, learning to fly as a teenager, and became an instrument and commercial rated private pilot. He regularly flew various aircraft for business and pleasure until about the age of 80. He was an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish.
His work was always in the coal industry. In 1961, as chief engineer for The New River Company in Mount Hope, he formed his own consulting engineering firm, Thomas W. Howard, Inc. The company served clients in West Virginia, surrounding states and, occasionally, abroad.
In 1970 Mr. Howard became general manager of Beaver Coal Company, Ltd. and served in that capacity for over 20 years. He also served on the Beaver Management Corporation's board of directors for many years.
He was a registered professional engineer, 'Legion of Honor' member of the Society of Mining Engineers and served on the West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. His overall contributions to the coal business are well recognized by all in the industry. The family also wishes to thank Mr. Howard's longtime secretary, office manager and assistant, Margaret Bickford. In 2010 Mr. Howard was inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth "Betty" Sibray Howard.
Surviving are his three children, Thomas W. Howard II, M.D. and his wife, Jan, of Hurricane, Linda Howard Brown and husband, Steve, of Mount Hope and Charles Howard and his wife, Lorna Waddell, of Morgantown, and six grandchildren, Thomas W. Howard III, M.D., Victor Alex Howard, M.D., James Grant Howard, William Brett Brown, Will Howard and Charley Howard. Also surviving is his sister, Patricia "Pat" Spickard of Shelbyville, Ky.
A special thanks to all of his caregivers, including Misty Hall, Sarah Acord, Heather Bowyer and Wanda Ball, and to Hospice of Southern West Virginia for their excellent care and oversight.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, 412 Main St., Mount Hope, with the Rev. Elizabeth Stone officiating. Entombment will follow at High Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, Oak Hill.
Friends may call at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday, Nov. 29.
In lieu of flowers, donations of sympathy can be made to Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, 412 Main St., Mount Hope, WV 25880 or to the Greater Mount Hope Community Fund, 211 Bluestone Road, Mount Hope, WV 25880.
Online condolences may be sent to www.tyreefuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.