Willard's Story

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PRINCETON Willard "Will" Preston Howerton, 85, of Princeton passed away August 9, 2017. Born December 2, 1931 in Bud, Wyoming County, WV, he was the son of the late Louie and Ella Shrewsberry Howerton.
He attended Johnston Chapel Church as long as his health permitted. He was a graduate of Herndon High School and a veteran of the U. S. Army serving during the Korean Conflict. An avid reader from a very young age, he once said he read to escape being poor. Many of those places he read about came to life in travels in the 80's, 90's and 2000's including a trip to Israel.
When he was three, he watched the family home burn, causing the death of his father and brother, Ernest. He attributed that tragedy and watching a new home being built to his love of building. He started working with his brother, Lloyd when he was very young, cutting timber, sawing lumber from the trees and pouring their own cinderblocks for building.
In 1954 the family moved to Athens so his sisters could attend Concord College. After his discharge from the military, he was a builder in the Staunton, Virginia area before returning to Mercer County to care for his mother. He was the developer of Sunny Meadows Subdivision, Deerfield Apartments, a section of Athens Road near Princeton, as well as many homes in surrounding counties.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers, Lloyd Howerton and Ernest Howerton and sisters, Carrie Aldridge, Mary Lee McAlister, Thelma McAlister, Helen Howerton, Bea Funk.
He is survived by his wife Anita Howerton and sister Elva Howerton Southern and numerous nieces and nephews. Special thanks to caregivers: Ann, Shirley, Bonnie, Katrina, Tim and Jerry.
A graveside service for family and friends will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 14, 2017 at Athens Cemetery in Athens with Rev. John King officiating. At Mr. Howerton's request he was cremated. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be at Mt. Jackson Church in Athens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Johnston Chapel Church or Mt. Jackson's Church.
Arrangements by Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home in Princeton.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.bailey-kirk.com.
Published on August 12, 2017
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