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Roby Jethro Howard, Jr.

Roby Jethro Howard, Jr., 92, passed away peacefully, Friday, March 30, 2018, at the Mountain City Care Center. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roby J. Howard, Sr. and Hallie Snyder Howard, and his loving wife of 67 years, Dorothy Gunn Howard. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 5 sisters, Hazel Howard Congdon, Hester Howard Williams, Eula Howard Adams, Trula Howard Muse, and Lois Ann Howard Adams.

Roby J. Howard, Jr. was born in Mountain City, TN, May 30, 1925. He grew up and helped on the family farm on Dry Stone Branch Road. While in elementary school, he was in Boy Scouts and 4H. While he was in Johnson County High School, he was a charter member of FFA and he played first and solo trombone in the band. He was also a member of the Glee Club.

After high school, he worked on the family farm and enlisted in the Merchant Marines and served with the Army Transportation Corps, both in the North Atlantic and South Pacific, during WWII.

In 1947, he entered the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While in the College of Agriculture, he majored in Poultry and minored in Horticulture and Animal Husbandry. While at UT, he met Dorothy Gunn and they married in McMinnville, TN, July 17, 1949. “Dottie” and Roby lived on the Howard farm for the remainder of their lives.

In 1951, he attended and graduated from North Carolina School of Auctioneering in Kinston, NC. He then auctioned tobacco in Greensboro, NC and briefly in Johnson City. For 12 years, he auctioned for Tri-State Growers’ Bean Market. (at the time, the market held the title, “Green Bean Capital of the World.”)

In 1954, he established “Howard’s Cage Eggs,” which serviced the Tri-City area for 26 years. In 1961, he became agent for Johnson County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and in 1978, was elected Secretary-Treasure and Office Manager.In 1977, Roby and his brother, Malcolm, purchased Howard Farms, Inc. from their father, R. J. Howard, Sr.

He was a charter member of the Lions Club and he belonged to the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was a Master Mason of the Taylorsville Masonic Lodge 243 F&AM having achieved fifty plus years in the organization. He was a member of the First Christian Church, where he was an elder. He and his wife sang in the choir for over 45 years. They also served as Youth Leaders, taught Sunday School for various age levels and worked in P.E.G., a school camp program for 5th and 6th graders. They also were involved in Tennessee’s Bicentennial and Heritage Hall Auditorium Renovation project.

A special thank you to care givers, Family Ministry Hands to Help, Amedisys, the wonderful staff at Mountain City Care Center, Dr. Robert Griffith, Dr John Whitlock, and Daniel Jones, PA.

He is survived by two brothers, Earl Howard, and Malcolm Howard (Sue), Special Brother-In-Law Walter G. Adams, Nieces and Nephews, Janet Coon, Jeanne Evans (Jack), Sue Williams, Sherry Rogers (Tom), William Adams, DDS (Sacha), Joseph Adams (Jody), Trudy Kittle (Kim), Greg Adams, MD (Carol), Cathy Muse, John Muse (Kaye), Tom Muse (Kathy), Jim Muse (Terry), Erby Howard (Diane), Jeff Howard, Sam Adams Pharm D (Susan), Malcolm Howard Jr., Randy Howard, Dottie Sue Phipps (Mark), Robert Gunn (Miriam), Richard Gunn (Sharon).

Family friends Sharon Marteeny, Ken and Linda Caswell, Richard and Bernita Armstrong, Evelyn Cook and the late Edward Cook, Hal and Sarah Johnson, Rick and Pam Steinke. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at the home of Malcolm and Sue Howard, 542 Dry Stone Branch Road.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 PM, Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at Hux & Lipford Funeral Home. Visitation will be 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM with ministers Dwayne Dickson and Buddy Zuercher. Music will be provided by the church choir. Masonic Rights will follow the service. Military Graveside service and burial will follow in the Sunset Memorial Park accorded by the Johnson County Honor Guard.

In Lieu of flowers- Contributions can be made to the First Christian Church Life Center Building Fund.

Pallbearers: Nephews and Great-Nephews.

Honorary Pallbearers: Deacons and Elders of First Christian Church, Pete Brooks, Richard Armstrong, Kenneth Rowman, John Wayne Jeffries, James Harper, Ted Spivey.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Professional arrangements for the Cook family are in the care of Hux & Lipford Funeral Home. 300 W Main Street, Mountain City.