Thomas Hawkins Howard

Thomas Hawkins Howard, 89, of Bryan, passed away Sunday September 15, 2019. A Celebration of Life is set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept 24, 2019, at Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Center in Bryan, with Certified Celebrant Dawn Lee Wakefield officiating. Interment will follow at 2 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers of Bryan College Station.

Thomas was born born June 2, 1930, in Deridder, Louisiana, to Taft and Lois Howard. He was a loving and dedicated husband, father and grandfather. Thomas has lived in this area since 1971 and was the owner of Tip Top Music. He especially loved playing steel guitar in several “swing” country bands. Thomas was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Sons of Hermann.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 70 years, Anita Loree Howard; brother, Bill Howard; and sister, Sue Norris.

Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Susan and Charles Melvin, Debbie and Ben Franklin; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jack and Maria Howard, Don and Milbre Howard; sisters and brother-in-law, Tressie and Elmo Bird, Kathy Ricicar; grandchildren, Chip Melvin, Matthew Melvin, Aaron Franklin; and great grandchildren, Peyton Melvin, Brayden Melvin, Samantha Melvin, Miles Melvin, and Vivian Franklin.

The family would like to offer a special thank you to his caregivers at Crestview Retirement Community for their loving care.


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  1. He is my oldest brother. That I always looked up to and admired. He was smart , talented musician and loved by many., Don Howard

  2. Our prayers and condolences to you and your family.
    I feel compelled to share a fond and vivid memory of Mr. Howard.
    I purchased my first real guitar from Mr. Howard about 40 years ago. I knew Mr. Howard from the bank I where I worked and decided to stop by the store one day. I grew up in Bryan so I knew what Tip Top Record Shop was. I dropped in and found the guitar of my dreams and way out of bounds of anything I could afford. But, I kept going back, playing it, leaving heartbroken because I could not afford it. It was a very lonely time in my life and my guitar was my closest friend. And I think he understood the true power of music. He’d always jump on his steel guitar and whip out a few riffs and I’d leave immediately wanting to return. A pretty good sales tactic if you ask me! Working at the bank, I’d see him a few times a week and he’d always let me know that the guitar was still there.. waiting on me. Many, many months later, he reminds me that the guitar was “still there”… and it was “on sale”. Now I’m not sure if he simply wanted to get that guitar rid it or that he saw how much I loved it, but it finally came home with me. That guitar is sentimental to me for so many reasons. My first REAL possession, a keepsake, and I have it to this very day. I plan on passing it down to one of my godchildren.
    I think Mr. Howard understood the power of music. Either by his steel guitar skills, selling music at Tip Top or by discounting a kid’s first guitar, he gave shared his love for music and talents. He touched many, many lives with everlasting memories and I’m sure the angels n heaven have a new steel player!
    God bless you all!

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