Joseph Preston Howard, Sr. (affectionately known as “Preston” or “Pres”), 87, of Riverside, Alabama, passed away peacefully at the home of his son on Christmas Eve, December, 24, 2022, surrounded by family. He was born in Riverside, Alabama on September 7, 1935, and was the youngest child to the late Johnnie and Dollie (Moore) Howard all of whom predeceased him in death.
Preston was a firm believer in Christ. He accepted Christ at an early age and as a child was a member of the First Baptist Church of Riverside. He left Riverside as a teenager and eventually settled in Wilmington, Delaware. He was ordained at the Tabernacle Baptist Church where he served on the Deacon Board with his older brothers Hardy Howard and Samuel Frank Howard. However, for most of his time in Wilmington, he was a very active member and leader at the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. There, he served as the Vice-Chairman of the Deacon Board, Adult Sunday School teacher and helped lead the effort to build a new Church. He worked for over 30 years at the Delaware Transit Corporation (“Dart”) as a city bus driver until his retirement in 1996. He returned to Riverside, Alabamain January of 1999 where he reestablished his home on the same land in which he was born. Since returning to Riverside, he served as an active member, Deacon and Sunday School teacher during different periods of time at the First Baptist Church of Riverside and the First Missionary Baptist Church South of Pell City. Also, he served as a board member for Coleman Cemetery& Perpetual Care. He loved walking, home improvement projects, hard candy and his family. He loved to talk about his children, grandchildren and extended family. He taught many of us that “family is the first and oldest institution on earth.”
Preston was preceded in death by his son, Emanual Preston Howard. He will be greatly missed by his wife of over 58 years, Josephine (Nesbitt) Howard, and his children (Joanne Howardof Buffalo, NY; Joseph P. Howard, Jr. of Buffalo, NY; Johnny Howard of Wilmington, DE; Isaac (Kimberly) Howard, Sr. of Buffalo, NY; Gwendolyn (Kokayi) Olushola of Atlanta, GA; Bernard V. Pepukayi, Sr. of Atlanta, GA; and Tanyell Howard of Wilmington, DE; eighteen grandchildren (three preceded in death), four great grandchildren, three great great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.