Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by William A. and Opal Howard

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

Bill was born on the Howard farm five miles northwest of Gouldbusk (see Alvis P. and Ximena Howard), December 1, 1913.  Bill attended Starkweather Elementary School through the 8th grade, and the Voss High School through the 10th grade.  He finished the 11th grade at Gouldbusk, and graduated from Howard Payne in May of 1939 with a BA degree and a major in Mathematics and Science.  During Bill’s stay in Howard Payne College, he met and dated Opal Eugenia (born on a farm at Waxahachie, November 10, 1918 to Vera McDonald and W. Guy Martin).  Opal attended elementary and High School in Waxahachie and graduated from High School in 1936.  After graduating from Howard Payne, Bill was employed as Mathematics and Science teacher in the Axtell High School, was also Principal, and Basketball Coach; Opal taught in the Elementary School at Otto.  At the end of this school year, Opal and Bill were united in marriage June 1, 1940 at Prairie Hill.  The wedding ceremony took place outside in the moonlight.

In December of 1943 Bill accepted a position with the Philco Television Engineering Department in Philadelphia, a Design Engineer working on the “Block” Air-Borne Television Project for three armed services, conducted by the Office of Scientific Research and Development.  Toward the end of World War II, Bill worked with a team of television engineers in designing and building television cameras for football and studio broadcasts.  On March 15, 1946, Bill reported to work in New York City as a Development Engineer for NBC.  The family bought their first house in Mineola, New York, on Long Island.

The family moved to Parma, Ohio, in the spring of 1950.  While here Opal resumed her teaching career in the Parma Elementary Schools teaching fourth grade, and also continuing her education at Western Reserve University and completing her Bachelor of Science Degree from Howard Payne College in 1953.  In 1953, Bill was promoted to the position of Supervisor of Technical Operations for WNBK and WTAM, NBC’s Radio and Television Stations in Cleveland, Ohio.

For 18 years prior to Bill’s retirement, he was a member of the “RCA Engineer” Editorial Staff, a technical publication for the RCA Engineers. In 1974 Bill was honored and given a “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from Howard Payne College, Brownwood.  Opal retired from public school teaching in July of 1975 after 29 years of teaching, and Bill retired from NBC January 1979 after 32 years of service.  They moved to Austin, at that time to their retirement home in Western Oaks.

Their daughter, Charlotte Larue, born March 19, 1941, received her Degree in Music from Baylor University and also has her Masters in Music from New York University.  She is married to George Grantier.  William Michael, born January 22, 1945, holds a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degrees in Nuclear Physics from Baylor University.  He also holds a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate Degree in Astro-Physics from Rice University.  For the last several years he has served as a Research Astro-Physicist in the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California, where he lives with his wife, Magdalen (Mak) Howard.

(Image to be added)

William A. (Bill) Howard at NBC Television, New York, 1972

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This page last updated November 25, 2005
© 1982 - 2005 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.