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Caroline HOWARD

Obituary Condolences

Family-Placed Death Notice

HOWARD, Caroline CAROLINE HILL RIDLEY HOWARD Caroline Hill Ridley Howard, 99, of Decatur passed away at home, peacefully asleep in her own bed, on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. She was born in Decatur, Georgia on November 13, 1913, the daughter of John Francis Ridley and Cornelia (Nellie) Dozier Ridley and attended Oakhurst Elementary School where she first met her husband, Pierre Howard, Sr. She attended Girls High School in Atlanta and upon graduation entered Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville where she was elected president of her class all four years. After her college years, she moved back to Decatur and worked in the business office of Southern Bell Telephone Company. In 1938, she married her childhood sweetheart, Pierre Howard, Sr. of Decatur. In February 1943, when her first son, Pierre Howard, Jr. was born, she quit work to become a full-time mother, a responsibility that she relished. Soon thereafter, her husband went on active duty in the U.S. Navy, and she and her new-born son moved in with her parents until the end of the war in 1945. She subsequently had a second son, John Ridley Howard in 1947 and a third son, Dozier Robson Howard in 1953. Caroline Howard, known to her family and friends as "Honey," devoted her life to her family, and she was its matriarch and core. Her unquestioned integrity and admirable character set an example of how to live and how to love for all of us. She had a strong sense of pride in her family, beginning with her great-grandfather, U.S. Senator Benjamin Harvey Hill, her grandfather, Dr. Robert Berrien Ridley of LaGrange and Atlanta, her grandmother and role model, Margaret "Ma" Woolfolk Dozier of Columbus and Decatur, her father John Francis Ridley, a businessman in Atlanta, and her mother, Nellie D. Ridley, a school teacher and principal in Atlanta and Clarkston. No activity of her children or her grandchildren or great-grandchildren ever escaped her attention or support. Each one knew that she would be his or her unquestioning advocate in whatever goal they pursued, and she always celebrated their successes and comforted them in their losses. She had a ready smile, a magnetic personality and a warm heart that drew people to her throughout her life, winning not only the devotion of her family but of thousands of people whom she touched. She taught her children that all people are equal in the sight of God, but because of her fierce loyalty to the University Georgia Bulldogs, that philosophy was occasionally tested on game day. Her devotion to the Georgia Bulldogs put her in the Dan Magill and Lewis Grizzard category of Georgia Bulldog fans. She had a sharp mind until the end, and just last week reveled in the Georgia Bulldogs victory over South Carolina. With her death, a bright light has gone out in the lives of her family and friends, but her influence will be felt for many years through them. Other favorite things in her life were the mountains, the outdoors, the north star, cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving, watching children open gifts at Christmas, making friends out of strangers, petting dogs, the Kentucky Derby, hydrangeas, making custard, traveling with family, "Amazing Grace", Highlands, Lake Burton and the farm at Warm Springs. She loved St. Luke's Episcopal Church where her parents were married in 1908 and where she was married in 1938. Her faith in God, nurtured there, sheltered her from the storms of a century of life. She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Margaret Walker Ridley Beggs and her husband, E. Dixie Beggs, Sr. of Pensacola, FL, her brother, John Robert Ridley and his wife Mary Ella Martin Ridley of Decatur, her husband, Pierre Howard, Sr. of Decatur and her son, John Ridley Howard of Atlanta. She is survived by her sons, Pierre Howard, Jr. and his wife, Nancy B. Howard of Atlanta, Dozier Howard of Decatur, her daughter-in-law, Pamela Camp Howard of Atlanta, her grandchildren, Ridley Howard, Jr. and his wife Holly Coulis of Brooklyn, NY, Elizabeth Howard Newton and her husband Ben Newton, Jr. of Atlanta, Christopher Howard and Caroline Howard of Atlanta, Dozier Howard, Jr. of Chicago, IL and Lindsey Howard of Jacksonville, FL, her triplet great- grand-daughters Mary Camp Newton, Sutherland Newton and Ridley Newton and her great-grandson, Ben Newton, III. of Atlanta, her niece, Caroline Beggs Newell of Amelia Island, FL and her nephew, Dixie Beggs, Jr. of Marietta. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, September 23, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the Reverend Liz Schellingerhoudt officiating, followed by the burial in the Decatur Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that contributions be made to The Park at St. Luke's, c/o St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 435 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308, the University of Georgia, c/o the University of Georgia Foundation, Milledge Centre, Suite 100, 394 South Milledge Ave, Athens, GA 30602 or to The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson, Cancer Center, Attn: Dr. Milind Javle, 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Unit 426, Houston TX, 77030-4404. The family will receive friends on Sunday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at A.S. Turner & Sons, 2773 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033 (next to DeKalb Medical Center).
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2013
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