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Dr. Donald Howard, Calvary College founder, dies at 79

Dr. Donald Ray Howard, 79, of Lewisville, Tex., died February 5. He was founder of Calvary College at Letcher.

Dr. Howard came to Letcher County in 1966 from Texas and founded Calvary College on the old Stuart Robinson School Campus and served as the college president for two years.

Letcher County resident Berma Matthews says, Calvary College “offered an opportunity for education to young people, older people also. So many of the students would have never gone to college except for Calvary. A lot of students attended Calvary for awhile then transferred to other colleges around the area. Numerous students completed the four-year degrees offered on campus. Some local folks who attended Calvary are Margaret Nichols and State Sen. Johnny Ray Turner. The Calvary College Alumni Association holds reunions every two years and Dr. Howard attended the reunion that was held in 2012.”

Born in Topeka, Kan., he was the son of the late LaVerne Glenn and Mildred Norrean Mellinger Howard and the father of the late Harmony Howard. He was a 1951 graduate of Topeka High School, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and a graduate of Washburn University and Bob Jones University.

In addition to Calvary College, he was a founder of Accelerated Christian Education, School of Tomorrow and School of Reform.

Surviving are his wife, Jo Ann Hazzard Howard; four children, Melody Kirkland, Donald Howard, Daniel Howard and Duane Howard; two stepchildren, Cynthia Contess and Steve Hazzard; a sister, Joyce Anderson; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a cousin, Glen Guffey.

Funeral services were held February 9 in Topeka. Burial was in the Rochester Cemetery.

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