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ACU Remembers: Jasper Howard


Jasper Howard
Jasper Howard

Former longtime ACU trustee Jasper Smith Howard (’54) died Jan. 25, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas, at age 90. 

Visitation will be held Feb. 10, 2023, from 6-8 p.m. at Texarkana Funeral Home (3515 Texas Blvd., Texarkana, Texas 75503). Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 11, 2023, at Walnut Church of Christ (2720 Moore’s Lane, Texarkana, Texas 75503). 

Although his home was in Conway, Arkansas, Howard was born Nov. 24, 1932, while his family was visiting in Monroe, Louisiana. He graduated from Greenville (Texas) High School in 1950. He married classmate Peggy Bobo (’55) while at ACU, where he was the president of his freshman, sophomore and junior class and vice president of his senior class, and earned a business degree. Later, he served the U.S. Army in Germany after World War II, and attended the University of Heidelberg.

He was a member of ACU’s Board of Trustees from 1969-2008, chairing its Finance Committee when it began in 1971. Howard also served on the President’s Advisory Board at Harding University, and was director of the Howard Foundation and the World Education Foundation.

During his business career, he was president of Howard-Gibco, ranked at one point as one of Texas’ 100 largest corporations; and director/treasurer of Gibson Discount Centers and Howard’s Discount Centers, Consolidated Leasing Corporation (Fort Smith, Arkansas), Mid-South Development Company, and Central Printing Company and Stanley Insurance Agency (Monroe, Louisiana). He also served as president of Commercial National Bank (Texarkana, Texas).

In 1987, Jasper and Peggy established an endowed scholarship at ACU to benefit ministerial students in honor of his parents, V.E. (’35) and Ruth Howard (’35). V.E. was a pioneer radio evangelist in Churches of Christ. 

Jasper was a deacon and elder at Walnut Church of Christ, including 32 years as an elder.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Peggy, his wife of 58 years; a brother, Ed Howard (’59); and a grandson, James Arnold. Among survivors are a son, Jon Howard (’88); daughters Dr. Leslie (Howard ’78) Arnold, Anne Taliaferro (’81) and Sara Miers (’84); nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Kay (Howard ’61) Young.

– Ron Hadfield

Feb. 7, 2023

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