James Thomas (Tom) Howard, 74, of Vienna, Georgia passed away on May 18, 2019 at home on his family farm. Visitation will be at Smyrna Baptist Church on Thursday, May 23rd at 1:00 p.m. with funeral services immediately following at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Bobby Carpenter and Rev. Layfield Buckholts officiating.
Mr. Howard was born on December 26, 1944 to the late Ray and Margaret Bryson Howard. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Laura Howard Walker.
His surviving family includes his wife, Jackie Howard of Vienna, Georgia; his daughter, Stacy Tolbert and her husband Todd of Forsyth, Georgia; his son, Jay Reid and his wife Kimberly of Americus, Georgia; his daughter, Telisa Asaro and her husband Daniele of Bonaire, Georgia; his son, Christopher Howard and his wife Amber of Bangor, Maine; his chosen son, Jeff Floyd and his wife Deana of Vienna, Georgia; his sister, Joyce Ambrose of Cordele, Georgia; his chosen brother, Don Childress of Hawkinsville, Georgia; nine grandchildren, Derek Walker, Dustin Walker, Connor Tolbert, Neal Tolbert, Peyton Cunningham, Anita Howard, Corrine Howard, Blake Floyd, and Stephen Floyd; and three great-grandchildren.
Mr. Howard graduated from Vienna High School in 1962 and attended Brewton Parker College and ABAC. In addition to raising livestock on his family’s centennial farm, he was an experienced antiques collector and dealer.
Mr. Howard devoted his life to answering God’s call by preaching and leading the music at many churches throughout south Georgia. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1964 and last pastored at Alpha Baptist Church in Leesburg, Georgia. He eagerly welcomed every opportunity to share the message of God’s salvation in his daily walks with others. He loved southern gospel music and sang in two gospel groups, the Bond Servants and the Gospel Joymakers.
Mr. Howard never missed an opportunity to help a fellow person, whether friend or stranger. He enjoyed picking through antique shops and spending time at the beach. His legacy includes his Christian faith and compassion, unconditional devotion to his family, and playful sense of humor and story-telling.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Alpha Baptist Church at 182 Academy Avenue North, Leesburg, Georgia, 31763 or Pruitt Health Hospice at 708 East 16th Avenue, Cordele, Georgia 31015.
Brannen-NeSmith Funeral Home of Vienna has charge of arrangements.