Howard Paul Williams has been residing at The Emeralds Nursing Home in Grand Rapids,
MN for the past six years. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 15, 2020 and passed
away at St Mary’s Hospital in Duluth on May 22, 2020.
Howard was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma on September 10, 1935 to James Henry Williams
and Sybil Ann Greene Williams. He was ordained to the ministry at the age of 16. He
thought his first sermon would last at least thirty minutes, but with friends from school
coming to hear him preach, it lasted all of five . . . probably the shortest sermon he ever
After graduating from Okemah High School in 1952, Howard served for nine years as an
Electronics Technician in the US Navy, including one year overseas during the Vietnam
War. He was blessed with a beautiful singing voice, so while in the service he led music at
various churches in Connecticut and California.
After the service, he graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. While in college he served as
Youth Pastor in Birmingham, MO and though Howard was not on the ballot, he was elected Mayor of that town.
Following college he attended Midwestern Theological Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, MO.
Howard then served as Pastor or Music Minister in various churches in Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, and
Minnesota. He especially enjoyed directing choirs and has conducted over 50 cantatas. He was appointed as a
Home Missionary by the North American Mission Board (Home Mission Board of the SBC) and served for two
years in a church in Plymouth, MN.
In 1983, Howard accepted a position in Denver, CO as the Rocky Mountain Affiliate Relations Manager for the
evangelical Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) which was founded by Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. Later CBN
became The Family Channel. His responsibility was to sell this religious channel to cable companies in the nine
surrounding states. Through the years he was privileged to meet various actors, actresses, and other celebrities.
Howard’s interests included golfing, fishing, bowling, footballand baseball. His hobby was leather working,
making gifts for friends and family.
Howard married Darleen (Dee) Nelson on April 22, 1961 in Reno, Nevada. Together they have five children,
Jim, Lakewood, CO; Scott, Grand Rapids, MN; Randy, Mechanicsville, NY; Tricia Blasdel (Scott), Troy, IL; Kimberly
LaTour (Steve), Maple Lake, MN. They have 13 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 1 great, great
He is survived by his wife Dee, and their children, brother Burton Williams (Janice), Borger, TX; sister-in-law
Barbara Ulrich, (Alvin), Buffalo Lake, MN; sister-in-law, Rosie Nelson, Hutchinson, MN; and many nieces and
nephews. Howard was preceded in death by his parents, and an infant brother.
Howard suffered a massive brain injury from a car accident on October 26, 2003. He had endured many health
issues since that time, so it is a great comfort and joy knowing he is now at peace, out of pain, and present with
the Lord. Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.