John Patrick Howard



LANCASTER, SC ~ Mayor John Patrick Howard, age 67, passed away April 3, 2018 at Carolinas Medical Center after a battle with lung cancer. John was born to the late James Lynn Howard and Helen Plyler on a fall day in 1950 in the city of Lancaster, SC. Other than a brief period when he lived with his family in Belgium and Scotland, he spent most of his life in Lancaster and loved the Red Rose City and its people with an unwavering sense of duty. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1968 as well as York Technical College with a degree in Industrial Electronics. He was also a graduate of the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and the Life Underwriters Training Council Fellowship (LUTCF).

John has been known by many titles throughout the years. He was “John Most Music” during his days at Lancaster’s own WAGL 1560 AM where he made known his love of southern rock and the music of the British Invasion. He was known as Sergeant First Class Howard during his 21 years of service with the SC National Guard. He proudly served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield with the 251st Evac Unit at KKMC and made lifelong friends during his years in the Guard. He was known to many in Lancaster as an insurance agent with Southland Life and Kanawha (later known as Humana Insurance company). He was known for spending afternoons with his clients around kitchen tables with glasses of sweet tea and plenty of conversation. John was proud to be known as Councilman Howard through his thirty-three years on the Lancaster City Council where he served with his late great friend Mayor Joe Shaw. After his years on City Council he became the Mayor of the City in 2016. It was his honor and privilege to represent the people of Lancaster. He served on the Catawba Regional Planning Council as well as other various boards throughout the city and county and was continually looking for ways to improve the lives of those in the city that he held so dear. He also enjoyed the time and breakfasts that he spent with the Lancaster Rotary Club. John was known as a friend to so many and never knew a stranger. He was prolific in his use of southern colloquialisms and his honest observations of life will be missed by many.

John was a loving husband to Karon Baucom Howard, his wife of over 48 years and a devoted father to his daughter, Shelley Howard-Robinson and son, Matthew Howard. John’s favorite title and the job that he was most proud of was that of Papa John. His five grandchildren, Emilia, Nora, and Augustus Robinson and Owen and Camden Howard will miss his hugs, use of nicknames, and very special pancakes and Papa noodles. John loved many pets through the years and will surely be greeted by many four-legged friends. He is survived by Teddy, who is missing his special meals of chicken, rice, and eggs.

John is survived by his wife, children, son-in-law Timothy Robinson and daughter-in-law Ashley Drake Howard, grandchildren, a brother Christopher Howard, sister, Nancy Howard Thomas and many extended family members and friends.

John and his family thank the many doctors, nurses, and therapists who cared for him during his illness, particularly the care teams of Levine Cancer Center and the Progressive Care Unit at Carolinas Medical Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to the Lancaster Promise Neighborhood through the Lancaster County Partners for Youth or the Lancaster County Council of the Arts.

A service celebrating John’s life will be held at Second Baptist Church in Lancaster on April 15, 2018 at 2:00 PM. The family will receive visitors after the service and at other times at his daughter’s home in Fort Mill.