Andy (known as Pop or Sarge to many) was born on November 30, 1931, to Alton and Blanche Howard, two hard working tobacco farmers in Kinston, NC. Being a farmer himself is what prompted him to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1949, proudly serving his country for 20 years as an Airborne Ranger. Andy returned from his tour of duty in Germany in 1955 and married Beatrice (Bea) Whaley.
Andy's military duty assignments included Germany, Korea, Camp Frank D. Merrill, Alaska, and Vietnam. His service as a Ranger Instructor at Camp Merrill expanded over an 11 year period. During his Army career, Andy was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal w/2 Bronze Service Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device 1960, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Bronze Star, Bronze Star Medal w/V device, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Army Commendation Medal w/3 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Marksman Rifle Badge. Following his retirement, he and his wife Bea settled in Dahlonega where they continued to open their home and served many a meal to soldiers stationed at Camp Merrill.
In 1970, Andy began a new career at the U.S. Postal Service in Gainesville, GA, where he came to know and befriend the residents on his route, never failing to deliver the mail. This intimacy led to the successful delivery of an envelope addressed simply to "Granny". He retired, again, after 22 years of service.
Andy later joined the staff at Bannister Funeral Home in Dahlonega. He spent the next 17 years serving and ministering to the people he loved so much in his community, often sharing his humor to help ease their pain.
Community service included Worshipful Master of Blue Mountain Masonic Lodge #38 F & AM. While serving in this position, Andy was one of three individuals instrumental in initiating the Veteran's Memorial Markers Project in Dahlonega, GA. Since the inception of this program in 2000, American flags line the streets during patriotic holidays to honor the veterans who gave all.
Alongside his wife, Bea, Andy served as a poll officer for many years during elections. He enjoyed gardening and sharing the fruits of his labor with neighbors and friends. Wintertime found him delivering firewood to those in need.
Retired First Sergeant Andre (Andy) Howard answered his final order at the age of 85 as His Heavenly Commander called him home. He now joins those gone on before him, both family, friends and fallen comrades. His last day of duty on earth was Monday, July 24, 2017.
Respectfully submitted by: