|Babe Howard was a well known name in Memphis but in the suburb of Millington it was legend. |
William Stuart "Babe" Howard died July 11, 2008.
Howard took over the family owned Millington Telephone Company in 1953 after his father's death. He exhibited folksy mannerisms but reportedly his anger could sometimes make his lips tremble. "You either like Babe or you don't like him... some were simply jealous, " his secretary of 31 years once said of him. (The Commercial Appeal, July 11, 2008) He built USA Stadium, a baseball venue for youth that hosted the preparations for a USA Olympic baseball team, he restored a Millington historic building, he was a city alderman for 19 years, served on the county school board for 17 years, he opened a restaurant as a gathering place for townspeople, he put up millions of dollars to make sure more than 4,000 acres of natural area went to a nature conservancy and the state.
"Babe was as gentle and kind a man as one will ever meet. I know of no one who gave more to his community -- from Goat Days to USA Baseball. He was a generous, civic-minded citizen who made Millington and West Tennessee a better place to live." (U.S. Rep. John Tanner, quoted in The Commercial Appeal, July 11, 2008)