Howard Gene Vinson, 74, of Temple, A dedicated Army veteran and loving family man, passed away on October 19, 2023, at his home in Temple, Texas. He was born on November 17, 1948, in Abilene, Texas to A.J. Vinson and Mary Ruth (Vaughan) Vinson. Howard lived a life filled with service, compassion, and a profound commitment to his loved ones.
At the youthful age of 18, Howard enlisted in the United States Army. His military career spanned an impressive 16 years until he retired from active duty. During his service, Howard exemplified integrity and dedication to his country. He later took on the position of Physician Assistant through the civil service and served at Fort Hood for an additional 27 years until his retirement in 2016.
Howard's love story began when he met the love of his life through a chance encounter arranged by their parents. On July 31, 1970, they united as twin flames and embarked on a beautiful journey together. They established their own family and were blessed with their first child in 1971. As a father, Howard cherished his role and made it a priority to support his children's education and extracurricular endeavors. He was truly the patriarch of his family, passing down invaluable life lessons such as prioritizing health, caring for loved ones, and embodying patience.
Throughout his life, Howard demonstrated remarkable traits that endeared him to all who knew him. Calmness, easiness of spirit, and genuine happiness radiated from him effortlessly. It took a great deal to provoke anger in him as he possessed an unwavering willingness to help others. Described affectionately as a "big teddy bear," Howard possessed a servant's heart that placed the needs of others above his own. He held his relationship with his wife dear to his heart and maintained its privacy throughout their years together.
Education played an integral role in shaping Howard's path towards success. He graduated from H. Grady High School in 1967, after which he pursued general studies at Texas A&M in Bryan College-Station. Eventually, Howard enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program through the United States Army Education Course, a decision that would set the stage for his impactful career.
Outside of his professional commitments, Howard wholeheartedly embraced his hobbies and interests. Digging into ancestry and family health fascinated him, as did traveling to various timeshare locations and throughout Texas. As a collector of Susan B. Anthony coins, he found joy in preserving history and cherished these numismatic treasures. However, his most fulfilling pastime came from selflessly dedicating himself to others, particularly his beloved family.
The circumstances surrounding Howard's passing are a testament to his admirable character and sacrifice for his country. Serving honorably in Vietnam, he was exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in his battle against Type II Diabetes. Additionally, for 15 arduous years, Howard courageously fought cirrhosis of the liver until it progressed to end-stage liver cancer.
Howard Gene Vinson is survived by his wife of 53 years, Claudia Jean (Sudduth), who stood by his side through every endeavor. His memory will live on through their son Charles Ramon Vinson and their daughters Maria Vinson and Samantha Tuerck (Louis). Also mourning their loss are Howard's brother Tommy Vinson and sisters Joyce Veltrop (Jim) and Doris Vinson. The legacy Howard leaves behind extends to his five adoring grandchildren: Lucas Martin, Alexandra Martin-Shattuck, Rachel Martin, Robert Willis Vinson-Tuerck, and Joe Mike Tuerck.
In addition to those he leaves behind in mourning, Howard is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. A.J. Vinson and Mary Ruth (Vaughan) Vinson, as well as one brother named Wylie Vinson.
A visitation ceremony to honor Howard Gene Vinson's life will be held on October 25, 2023, at the Young's Daughters Funeral Home & Bereavement Center in Temple, Texas. The visitation will begin at 6:00 PM and last until 8:00 PM.
Howard's proudest accomplishments in life were undoubtedly his children and his loving wife. He exemplified the qualities of a devoted husband, father, and friend. Howard will be remembered for his selflessness, dedication to service, and unwavering love for his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Wounded Warrior Foundation. These contributions will help honor Howard's memory by supporting causes dear to his heart.
Howard Gene Vinson may no longer walk among us physically, but his spirit will forever shine as a guiding light for those who loved him. May he rest in eternal peace, knowing that his legacy of love and kindness lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to have known him.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a memorial donation to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sabrina N. Young, of Young's Daughters Funeral Home and Bereavement Center.