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Weldon Lawrence Howze


1930 - 2015 Obituary
Weldon Lawrence Howze Obituary
Weldon Howze finished what some called "a busy life" on December 11, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. He was born on September 3, 1930, in Bakersfield, California but spent about 10 of his earliest years as a member of a growing family in Oklahoma as it endured the Dust Bowl years and the Great Depression. His father's family were descendants of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians and when in Oklahoma they lived on land received from the US government for compensation to members of the Choctaw tribe who lived through what has been termed "The Trail of Tears." In 1941 the family returned to Bakersfield, California where the father was a farmer but also he and the entire family became very active with the Christian group Jehovah's Witnesses.
Weldon is survived by his brothers Noble, Burl, David and Gerald and his only sister Barbara Ann Judd. When he was 11 years old he and his father, his older brother (now deceased), his cousin and two aunts were baptized in an irrigation canal outside Bakersfield and shortly thereafter they were founding members of the first congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in the little farm town, Shafter. That congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses continues to prosper 72 years later.
Weldon spent more than 15 years in Brooklyn, New York, at the international headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses. He had the joy of working with the Administration department but also helped with the actual binding of books and Bibles, an integral part of the disciple-making efforts the Witnesses pursue in over 230 lands and countries of the world. Some of his fondest memories was traveling to give Bible lectures in such delightful small places as Pennsburg, Pennsylvania and Quincy, Massachusetts, and possibly hundreds in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City, as well as at the larger conventions held each summer in such diverse places as Fort Worth, Texas, Providence, Rhode Island and Bakersfield, California. He loved to travel and was able to visit congregations and groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and give lectures and illustrated talks in Venezuela, the Caribbean island of Dominica, Austria, Mexico and to many thousands on the west coast. One special illustrated talk used hundreds of slides and recorded music and was entitled "Youthâ€"What is Your Future?" and was given to all Jehovah's Witnesses in the states of Oregon, Washington and Utah at specially arranged venues. That same talk was first delivered in Los Angeles at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and thereafter was shown in many other states by other speakers.
When he returned to his family in California in 1969 he settled with them in Ojai, California but was assigned to help a congregation in Ventura, California. His teaching and help with the Bible through personal studies helped many who today are a part of 6 different Ventura congregations in English and 4 in Spanish and 1 in American Sign Language. In 1984 he moved to Santa Barbara and continued the same outreach. He worked with 3 different congregations in Goleta and Santa Barbara. He always spoke of his greatest joys coming from the work he did at UCSB where the Witnesses are known for their public outreach to students and professors as well as the general public who visit the campus. To this time he kept in touch with some of those students who had graduated and moved on but were ones who received words of encouragement from Weldon through the phone, letters and e-mails.
His faith in the resurrection promises from the Bible were very alive, very bright. He died with a positive view of being reunited with all those many he encouraged and helped in some small way. It was said of him: He wanted to meet every one who passed by, to help them know Jehovah the Creator, and not a few he did.
Graveside service to be held December 17th @ 1PM at Shafter Cemetery, 18662 Santa Fe Way, Shafter, CA 93263.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Dec. 16, 2015
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