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Howard Holcomb '63 May 9, 2019 10:54 AM updated: May 9, 2019 10:56 AM

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. obituary
3200 Golansky Blvd.
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Telephone: 703-878-CARE (2273)
Fax: (703) 897-1377

Howard L. Holcomb
February 21, 2019

Howard Lee Holcomb passed away Thursday February 21, 2019 at the Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center after a lengthy struggle with heart disease. Howard passed comfortably and was surrounded by his loving family and friends. Holcomb was born June 21, 1941 the oldest of two sons of John and Lola Holcomb. A native Texan, Holcomb was raised in rural Brady, Texas where he and his younger brother Robert grew up completing farm chores, chasing rabbits out of the garden, and the occasional bb gun fight with each other. The Holcomb family did move to Austin, Texas where Howard graduated from the Stephen Austin High School. After high school graduation Holcomb attended the Texas A&M University and enrolled in A&M’s prized Corps of Cadets. Attendance at Texas A&M was formulative for Holcomb. As a Cadet, Holcomb stood guard and helped assemble the A&M famed Thanksgiving bonfire, he was “volunteered” to participate in A&M’s rodeo team and knocked unconscious while wrestling a calf to the ground, he pranked the freshman class by pitching cherry bombs into the freshman dormitory, earned a bachelor's degree in economics, made lifelong friends, and before graduating met, and later married, Joanna R. Whiteley. Up to his passing Howard wasn an active Texas A&M alumni funding scholarships and supporting athletic programs. Upon graduating from A&M, Holcomb was commissioned a Lieutenant the U.S. Army. He and his young bride were stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Holcomb eventually commanded a Company as Executive Officer and was honorably discharged after attaining the rank of Captain. After serving Holcomb returned to the Texas A&M University and earned a Master's of Business Administration. Upon receipt of his MBA Holcomb was offered a junior management position at the Mobil Oil Corporation in Dallas, Texas. Holcomb worked for the Mobil Oil Corporation, later merged to become the Exxon Mobil Company, his entire 20+ year career. Holcomb served in several operations leadership positions that took he and his family from Dallas, Texas to Chicago, Illinois and later to Woodbridge, Virginia. Holcomb retired from Mobil in 2007 after a 27 year career. A skilled leader adept at building engaged and successful teams, Holcomb developed meaningful relationships with those he worked alongside, most of whom continue to remain his closest and dearest friends. Upon retirement Howard and his wife Joanna traveled considerably. He sampled Russian vodka in St. Petersburg, floated down the Rhine in Germany, drank the sweet coffee in Greece, and ate the king crab of Alaska. Holcomb also golfed prodigiously. He and his close friends from Mobil planned elaborate golf excursions to the Carolinas and Arizona to avoid the cold East Coast winters. When not traveling or golfing, Howard maintained a meticulously landscaped yard that required weeks of self imposed “leaf patrol” each fall. Holcomb and his wife Joanna lived in their home in Woodbridge, Virginia. A generous and warm man, Holcomb delighted in entertaining and serving his friends and neighbors genuine Texas smoked barbecue brisket. His 16 hour smoked brisket was so anticipated that neighbors would swarm the Holcomb residence at the first scent of the smoked meat wafting through the neighborhood. So succulent, Holcomb’s authentic texas brisket that he labored over “never needed sauce.” Holcomb is survived by his wife of 54 years Joanna, his son Scott, daughter in law Peggy and two grandchildren Lola and Minnie.

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