William's Story

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William "Bill" E. Howard, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of September 16, 2016.
He was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor Grace Howard.
He is survived by a sister, Maxie Howard of Pikeville, Ky.; and two children, Steve (Armina) Howard and Candy (Danny) Roberts, all of London; six grandchildren, Carey (Derek) Miller, Braxton (Megan) Howard, William Blake Howard, Elvalina Howard, Bryan (Liberty) Roberts, and Natalie Roberts; and five great-grandchildren, Caroline, Avery, Cooper, Denver and Eleanor.
Born April 2, 1924 to the late Sidney and Elizabeth Scott Howard, he grew up on a hillside farm on Johns Creek in Pike County, Ky. He attended a one-room school thru fourth grade, prior to attending Johns Creek Elementary School and Johns Creek High School, graduating in 1943 as valedictorian of his class.
Serving in the US Navy from 1943 thru 1945 in the South Pacific Theatre, his ship was sunk and he was one of a few to survive 10 days in the shark infested waters until being rescued.
He attended Pikeville Junior College in 1946 and the University of Kentucky — College of Engineering thru 1949. After graduation with a B.S. degree in civil engineering, he went to work for the Kentucky Department of Highway Bridge Design.  Thru 1952, he was a resident engineer for the Kentucky Department of Highway at Wayland, Ky.
In 1952, he was one of the first three to be awarded the Highway Graduate Scholarship. While studying for his master's degree, he worked at the UK Department of Highway Lab under the direction of Mr. Ellis Williams. He developed the product known as Dense Graded Aggregate Material. This material was adopted by the Kentucky Department of Highways as the base material for most of the highways in Kentucky.
After completing all work for a master's degree in 1953, he returned to the Planning Department of the Kentucky Department of Highways where from 1953 to 1956 he was assistant manager of the Department Road Need Study.  In February 1956, he was named Assistant Director of Maintenance for bridges.
From May 1957 until 1974, he was the chief engineer, vice president, and president of Greer Bros. & Young.  In the late 1960's and the early 1970's Greer Bros. & Young was rated 88th among the top 400 contracting firms in the United States.  He was president of Cumberland Valley Coal & Construction Company from 1971 to 1975.
From 1977 to 1994, he was president and CEO of London Bridge Company, Inc. of London, Ky.  During this period, he designed and constructed some of the state's largest coal handling facilities, unit train loadouts, preparation plants, and large overland conveying systems. London Bridge constructed many bridges, waste water treatment plants, and water treatment plants.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors from 1966-1976 and as their president in 1977.  He also served as president of ARBA, a director of KBT, eight years as a director of the Christian Church Home of Kentucky, two years on London City Council, on the Laurel County 4-H Club Council, on the Advisory Board of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and on the Highway Contractors' Negotiating Committee for many years.  He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the United Steel Workers Pension Fund, one of the founders and president of KY for a Better Transportation and former president of the KY AGC.  He served many years as Deacon, Elder, and Trustee in the First Christian Church of London and a member of London Kiwanis Club for many years.
He loved work and people who work.  He believed anything could be accomplished with a good work ethic, but when not at work he enjoyed trout fishing in Montana, gardening and the UK basketball and football teams.
Funeral service was conducted at House-Rawlings Funeral Home in London, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. Visitation was held from 2 to 4 p.m., also on Sunday at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to the UK Civil Engineering, 161 Raymond Building, Lexington, Ky., 40506-0281 and Village Heights Assisted Living, 212 West 12th Street, London, Ky., 40741.
Published on September 20, 2016
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