For the fourth year in a row, the Howe Area Chamber of Commerce will induct members into the Howe Hall of Honor. Each April the chamber announces the winners of month-long voting from the general public. Nominations started rolling in on Jan. 9 this year, and Harold Taylor was the first person nominated for the 2018 Class. He also tallied more votes than any of the ten nominees.
Taylor will enter the Howe Hall of Honor with Norman Bennett, Tommy Skipworth and Bob Williams. The chamber announced early in the year that they would induct the top two vote-getters from the living and deceased categories.
Nominees were Price Hanning, Overton Jay, Marshall Robertson, Artie Stockton, Linda Wall and Donna Wormsbaker as well as those to be inducted.
The four members will be officially inducted into the Howe Hall of Honor on May 4 at 6:30 pm in Downtown Howe. That night will also reveal the Howe Business of the Year, Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year and Volunteer Organization of the Year.
The three top nominees for Business of the Year are Howe Family Dentistry, Independent Bank in Howe and Palio’s Pizza Cafe. The three top nominees for the Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year are Anna Anderson, Monte Walker and Donna Wormsbaker. The three top nominees for the Volunteer Organization of the Year are the Howe Fire Department, Keep Howe Beautiful and Peggy’s Porch.
Those to be inducted on May 4:
Tommy Skipworth, Feb. 14, 1945 – Nov. 4, 2005. Originally from Sherman, Skipworth made a name for himself as a superb multi-sport athlete at Sherman High School and later Austin College where he was eventually inducted into the Austin College Hall of Honor in 2014. Upon graduation from Austin College in 1967, he began a career in the education field at Howe I.S.D. that ended in a legacy. He served as a teacher, varsity basketball and baseball coach, counselor, and principal, all while furthering his own education with a master’s from East Texas State University. Bob Williams, May 12, 1933 – March 14, 2000.
Bob Carl Williams was born in 1933 and grew up in Sherman, Texas and was a 1952 Sherman High graduate. His contributions to Howe are well documented during his 23 years as Senior Vice President of First Bank Howe. Williams was a charter member of the Howe Band Boosters, as well as serving as president of the Athletic Booster Club, and president of the Howe Lions Club. He was also involved with the Upper-Elm Red Water Conservation Committee and served on the Loy Lake Livestock Board of Directors. Williams used loaning money for FFA projects to teach students a lifelong lesson. He would take extra time to explain the details of a loan with each FFA student. Most of all he wanted them to learn responsibility, that if they kept their end of the agreement he would be there the next time they needed money. Williams was often taken for granted as he quietly did whatever needed to be done for Howe, especially for the youth in the community. He worked in many places not seeking recognition for his deeds but doing all for the community he loved. He was the recipient of the 1999 Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year.
Norman Bennett was born in 1932 and raised in Gainesville, Texas. Shortly after graduating from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, he moved to Sherman where he taught math at Sherman High and coached the tennis team in the late 1950s and 1960s. He then taught at Howe High where he taught in three different decades at Howe High School. Bennett was known for his contagious smile, his knack for math, his ability to connect with and “mesmerize” his students. He would write math problems on the board with his eyes on the class the entire time. While involved in his teaching career, Bennet also starred in plays and musicals at the Sherman Community Players Theater. Working at KXII TV, he hosted an afternoon movie show, “Dialing for Dollars”, had roles in commercials, and was the weekend weatherman. After his children were grown, Norman Bennett decided to earn extra money by auditioning for commercials in Dallas. In 1983, he starred in two movies – “Terms of Endearment”, starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, and “Tender Mercies”, starring Robert Duval – both movies winning Academy Awards. In “Terms of Endearment”, he played the role of banker Edward Johnson, one of Shirley MacLaine’s suitors. In the movie “Hope Floats”, he starred opposite Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr.
Harold Taylor is a hometown boy, graduating from Howe High School in 1956 from his class of 13. After attending North Texas State University, he began a 37- year career with the United States Postal Service including the last 13 as the postmaster in Howe from 1984-1997. Taylor is the only person to ever be selected as the Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year twice (1987, and 1997). Taylor was an active Howe Chamber of Commerce member and served as the treasurer of the Howe Lions Club for many years where he helped less fortunate children obtain eyeglasses. Taylor also served as Scout Master and Assistant Scout Master for many years for Howe’s Troop 45. Taylor was also a supporter of Howe ISD by becoming a charter member of the band boosters and also a supporter of the athletic booster club. He and his wife have been faithful members of the First United Methodist Church of Howe for 59 years.