Howard Estill Lunsford Sr., 78, of the New Antioch Community (Wilmington), passed away Monday, October 29, 2018, at Clinton Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Howard was born May 10, 1940 in Hamilton, Butler County, OH, the son of Benjamin and Dortha Marie (Wilmot) Lunsford. He was the third oldest of eleven children and the oldest son. Howard attended Fayetteville School in Fayetteville, OH and Jefferson School in Midland, OH. He married Anna Mae Jones on June 27, 1969. Howard’s friends and family would describe him as honest, kind, and hard-working. Howard was loved by many and will be missed by everyone who knew him. He was a trusted and loyal friend and would often be an ear to those who needed to share their good news, confide their unfortunate troubles, or just chit chat about the weather. He cherished his family and would do anything for them.
Howard was no stranger to physical work and started at an early age. At the age of eight, he dug post holes for a neighbor for a few cents per hole. In addition to helping his father and brothers on the family farm, Howard quit school in the eighth grade to earn a living and help his family. As a teenager, he once saved 100 $1 bills, digging post holes, and, with the money, he bought a bike. Not only did he give his sisters rides on that bike, he often used his own money to buy candy for his siblings. He began employment with Edwards Sheet Metal in Wilmington in 1955 (age 15) and honed the skills he learned there for the next 60+ years. He worked for Babb Sheet Metal in Wilmington for many years and served that company as roofer, heating/AC installer, and tin man/sheet metal fabricator. In 1995, Howard opened his own sheet metal shop in Wilmington and, until his illness in April, 2017, was still working full-time. Despite the constant encouragement of his family, Howard kept his labor wages low, always putting his customers’ needs ahead of his own. He had an old-fashioned approach to many things, something for which his family is proud and grateful. He was a true master of his craft and, with a mere measurement and description of what was needed, was able to create a true work of art, whether it be a metal star, chimney top, or heating/cooling duct. He was known around town as “The Ol’ Tin Man”. This tin man, however, had the biggest heart.
Howard is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anna Mae; his children, Zane (Gloria) Lunsford of Midland, Georgi Lunsford-Wright of Wilmington, and Howie (Nari) Lunsford of Wilmington; his beloved grandchildren, Garie (Ryan) Briggs of Wilmington, Lukked Lunsford of Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, and Wesley Lunsford of Wilmington; his great-grandchildren, Drew and Demi Briggs; six of his seven sisters, Mary Cowell of Maroa, IL, Helen Barry of Clarksville, Jane Roberts of Highland, Caroline Sue Roush of Wilmington, Charlene (Terry) McClanahan of Clarksville, and Vicky (Mike) Setty of Hillsboro; one brother, Ben (Denise) Lunsford of Williamsburg; sister-in-laws, Linda Lunsford of Martinsville and Judy (Dick) Bracht of Wilmington; brother-in-law, Frank (Barb) Jones of Wilmington; and several nieces and nephews.
Also surviving are special, special friends, Paul and Virginia Pollitt.
In addition to his parents, Howard was preceded in death by a grandson, Dustin Edward Wright; brothers, Clarence and Earl Lunsford; sister, Margaret Ann Burnett; brother-in-laws, Charles Cowell, Lou Burnett, John Barry, David Roberts, John Roush, Leland Jones Sr., David Jones, and Richard Jones; sister-in-law, Mary Jones; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, George and Marie Jones.
Visitation will be on Sunday, November 4th, from 5-7pm and on Monday, November 5th, from 10-11am, both at the Wilmington Church of God, 100 R. Gordon Drive, Wilmington, OH. The funeral will begin at 11am on Monday, November 5th, also at the church.
Burial will be in the New Antioch Cemetery. Littleton Funeral Home is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your favorite charity in honor of Howard.
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