Howard Michael Thomas

Howard Michael Thomas, of Crockett, TX, passed away peacefully in Houston on February 20, 2023 at the age of 80.  Born in Houston on January 22, 1943 to Milton and Rachel Garrett Thomas, Howard was a man who defied description.  A collector of friends, world-traveler, avid gardener, lover of music, and diehard Texas Longhorn just begins to describe Howard.  He never met a stranger and leaves behind a host of friends who will miss his feisty personality.

Howard was raised in Bellaire, TX and graduated from Bellaire High School in 1961. Among his most fond memories of high school was the time spent on the yearbook committee. There he made dear friends with whom he kept in touch for a lifetime.  After high school, he attended his beloved University of Texas in Austin, where he excelled in the honors program, graduating in 1965.  Seeking adventure and challenge, Howard joined the Peace Corp and spent two years in Majuro in the Marshall Islands, where, in addition to adventure, he met lifelong friends.

In the early 1970’s, Howard moved to Crockett, where he held a variety of positions, including managing the King’s Inn, owning Polk’s Department Store and managing Spring Creek Country Club.

Howard was active in the community and seemed to know everyone in Crockett. He was a founding member of The Jordan School, where he served on the Board of Trustees for a number of years.  He was an active member of Spring Creek Country Club and was known for having lived in many of the homes around the lake there.  Howard was active in All Saints Episcopal Church during his early years in Crockett, having been confirmed in the church in 1982.  He was a lifetime member of the University of Texas Ex -Students’ Association.

Knowing Howard meant hearing tales of his years at the University of Texas.  As was his habit, Howard made many friends who were considered a part of his family.  His UT tailgating group, “The Orange Flamingos”, met at every Texas home game from 1998 to 2012, providing stories for years to come.

Howard loved to travel, but never alone.  He accompanied many friends for wonderful trips throughout Europe, Mexico, and Russia to name just a few of the destinations. It is safe to say that Howard was considered part of the family by everyone he accompanied.

In his later years, Howard took great pleasure in his beautiful backyard garden, where he spent many afternoons and evenings, sipping Scotch, visiting with friends, and watching beautiful birds. 

Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Milton and Rachel Thomas, his beloved Aunt Christine “Sissy” Ayers, his cousin Sharon, along with numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.  He is survived by his brother Dennis, sister-in-law Teresa, his niece Rachel, nephew Taylor, and countless friends.

Howard’s passing leaves a large void which can never be filled.  We will forever carry him in our hearts and memories. HOOK ‘EM HORNS!

For those wishing to honor Howard’s memory, donations may be made to a cause near to his heart: The Ritz Theater Restoration, PO Box 1213, Crockett, TX 75835.

Online condolences may be left at

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