Jimmy "Jim" Howard '60 July 5, 2022 3:15 PM updated: July 5, 2022 3:20 PM
Jimmy L. Howard
May 31, 1934 – September 27, 2021
Heaven gained a giant on September 27, 2021 when Dr. Jimmy L. Howard went home to be with the Lord. Dr. Howard was born at home to O.D. Howard and Lerah Mae Copas on May 31st, 1934 in Floyd County, Texas. If a life well-lived and the legacy left behind is the measure of our "success" during life then Dr. Howard will hear "well done, good and faithful servant.” Dr. Howard preached and taught the gospel for over 65 years, smuggled Bibles into and preached on the street corners of Russia, took the gospel to Nigeria, Botswana, Norway and other points of interest during his life.
He was a veterinarian by trade, owning a local Amarillo practice for years before teaching veterinary medicine at the college level as well as preaching and teaching at numerous churches in Kansas, Illinois, Texas and Botswana, Africa. Jim grew up in abject poverty in Floydada, Texas, spending the first eleven years of his life in the cotton fields with his mom, dad and four brothers trying to put food on the table. They moved to Pantex Village when Jim was eleven, and he later graduated from Panhandle High School. There Jim met the love of his life, Sammie Bagwell, and they married on Oct. 20, 1951.
Jim was the first in his family to get a college degree, doing his undergraduate and Master’s work at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, then moving on to Texas A&M for his DVM in Veterinary Medicine. He and Sammie moved back to Amarillo in 1960 and raised their family in the River Road community on the north edge of town. They moved to Manhattan, Kansas, in 1973 so Jim could teach at Kansas State University. After teaching at KSU and the University of Illinois and spending time in Nigeria and Botswana teaching, Jim and Sammie moved back to the Texas panhandle. Upon returning "home,” Jim worked for several churches, for the Texas A&M diagnostic lab, and served as a field veterinarian for the State of Texas, working on the Brucellosis project. He finished his veterinary teaching career at Clarendon College.
Dr. Howard's passion was teaching the bible to anyone who would listen and wanted to learn. His house is filled with Bible commentaries, notebooks he has written and Sunday school lessons and workbooks too numerous to count. Dr. Howard also edited several books on veterinary medicine during his lifetime.
Dr. Howard was preceded in death by both parents and four brothers: Robbie Johns, and Billy, Everett, and Dean Howard. He is survived by and leaves as his legacy his wife of 70 years, Sammie; his children: Bruce and wife Gwynne Howard of Hedley, Texas; Steve and wife Karen Howard of Gatesville, Texas; and Kim and husband Charlie Weathersbee of Amarillo, Texas. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. His grandchildren are teachers, coaches, ministers, doctors, medical staff, accountants, military and health/safety supervisors. If a life should be judged by the quality of the family they leave behind, Dr. Howard lived a wonderful life. Dr. Howard's impact will live on through those he touched through his teaching and preaching ministry.