Attorney Raymond Howard Jr. transitioned on Friday August 23, 2019 at the age of 84. Raymond was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 13, 1935 to Geneva and Raymond Howard Sr. His life was filled with notable achievements and he left an indelible impact on the communities he served.
Raymond began his schooling at Vashon High School where he graduated at the age of 16 and was later elected into the Vashon Hall of Fame. After high school, he served in the US Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, reaching the rank of lieutenant. Upon leaving the army, Raymond returned to a country that was still struggling with notions of equality and justice which prompted him to pursue a formal law degree with his intention set on becoming an advocate for change. Raymond became only the third African American to graduate from St. Louis University School of Law. He spent his law school years advocating for civil and equal rights and was instrumental in developing the Summer Institute Program at St. Louis University Law School.
After graduating at the top of his law school class, Raymond again faced the vestiges of segregation when he learned that most law firms and corporations would not hire an African American attorney. He decided to partner with other black lawyers and build his own practice geared towards helping the underserved and underrepresented. He also took the opportunity to use his voice as an instrument for change leading sit-ins, peaceful protests, and boycotts in an effort to ensure the citizens of St. Louis were afforded the same access to jobs, banks, restaurants and other retail establishments.
At age 33, Raymond Howard was the youngest person elected to the Missouri Senate. He served 12 years as a representative of the Senate and House of Representatives. During his time in the Senate, he chaired the Higher Education Committee and authored several historical pieces of legislation including Missouri’s State Scholarship Law, Missouri’s Equal Housing Law, and Missouri’s Equal Opportunity Employment Law.
Raymond Howard used his skills and talents throughout his life to benefit many community organizations including the Urban League, St. Louis YMCA, St. Louis NAACP, St. Louis Congress of Racial Equality, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Gateway National Bank. He has been recognized by many organizations for his contributions including being named to the National Bar Association Hall of Fame and the recipient of the NAACP Distinguished Citizen Award. An avid golfer and faithful fraternity brother, Raymond maintained a strong bond with his brothers in the Par or Better Golf Club and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
While remarkable success was achieved during his storied lifetime, Raymond was exceptionally proud to pass on his legacy of achievement and activism to his children: Dr. Raymond Howard III, Attorney Monica Howard Douglas, Attorney Heather Simpson, Angelique Howard and Brooke Dailey (step daughter). Raymond is survived by his children, wife Annie Howard, brother Wesley Howard, sister Wilhelmenia Rockett, and many grandchildren, family and friends. He is predeceased by his mother and father Geneva and Raymond Howard Sr and his sister Sylvia Pennington. Raymond received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and stood firm on the Word of God as he continually grew in his faith. He loved the Lord and had the blessed assurance of his salvation through Jesus Christ.
The life of Raymond Howard Jr. will be celebrated on Friday, August 30, 2:00pm at Austin Layne Renaissance Chapel, 7302 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63136 with a repast to immediately follow at the home of Raymond and Annie Howard – 4103 Caballo Crossing, Florissant Missouri 63034.