Four members have been selected to the Howe Hall of Honor in its third official class. Jean Norman, Donal Gilstrap, J.J. Chisum and Bob Walker were the top choices voted on by the general public through an online voting process set forth by the Howe Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber set up two categories for induction — one for living nominees and one for deceased nominees. Back in January, citizens and the general public were asked to submit nominations for this year’s class. Those nominations then went out again to the general public for voting the top two living and top two deceased.
Nominees for the third class, along with the four inductees, were Gayle Skipworth, Leon Thornhill, Harold Taylor, Ricky Ake and Artie Stockton.
The chamber received 181 responses in the online voting, which also included nominations for the category of Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year, and Volunteer Organization of the Year. The winners of those categories will be announced at the Third Annual Howe Hall of Honor & Awards Banquet on May 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Nominees for the Business of the Year will be Abby’s Restaurant, the Howe Enterprise and Stark Lane Farms.
Nominees for the New Business of the Year will be Palio’s Pizza Cafe, Skinner Plumbing Supply and Stark Lane Farms.
Nominees for the Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year will be Jonathan Coleman, Jean Norman and Monte Walker.
Nominees for Volunteer Organization of the Year will be Feed My Sheep, Howe Volunteer Fire Department and Keep Howe Beautiful.
All nominees will be given a complimentary ticket to the event, which is $15, and can be purchased shortly at Independent Bank, City Hall, the Howe Post Office and the Howe Area Chamber of Commerce office.
Of the Hall of Honor living nominees, Jean Norman led the voting with 43 percent of the vote. Donal Gilstrap finished with 35 percent. Just missing the second spot was Leon Thornhill, who received 30 percent. Others were Gayle Skipworth at 26 percent, Harold Taylor at 25 percent and Ricky Ake, 9 percent.
Of the deceased Hall of Honor nominees, J.J. Chisum was the leader with 69 percent while Bob Walker finished second at 51 percent. Artie Stockton totaled 24 percent of the vote. The chamber will also recognize Howe’s longest active businesses at the event. Those include the Howe Enterprise, Independent Bank, Hugh’s TV, Baker Heating/Air, MagniFab, Southwest Auction, Clinton Upholstery, and The School Zone Academy.
Previously inducted members of the Howe Hall of Honor were Jabez Haning, W.P. Thompson, A.M. Ferguson, Mame Roberts, Charles Thompson, Arthur Boyle, Tony Brinkley, L.B. Kirby, Norma Wallace, Ray Bledsoe, Carrie Waller, Elmer Schenk, Jimmy Bearden, Norman Dickey and Steve Simmons.