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Obituary for Virginia Howard

Virginia Lea Howard, 85, of Heavener was born March 15, 1936 in Linden, Texas to Roy Branscum and passed away Dec. 4, 2021 in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Funeral service is 2 p.m., Friday at Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel in Heavener, with Brother Alvin Branscum officiating. Burial will follow in Heavener Memorial Park, under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener.

Virginia was a long-time resident of the area and a homemaker. She loved spending time with her family and friends. She was a loving mother, sister, grandma, Nana Bug, aunt, and friend. Virginia will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her children James Smith, Peggy McCowan and fiancé Don, Buddy Howard, Jr., Randy Howard, Sandy Miller, and Tammy Sandt and husband John; two sisters Ella Mae Yandell and Helen Maloy; two brothers Alvin Branscum and Doug Branscum; eight grandchildren Kaycee Morrison and husband Nick, Justin Howard and wife Rachel, Melissa Longsworth, Amanda Morlock, Kathy Boney, Trudi Howard, Bryan Pitchford and Erika; numerous great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Buddy Howard, Sr.; two sisters, Dolphine Rice and Allene Benefield; one brother, Gene Henry; and four grandchildren Kari Diedrich, Curtis Oliver, Jr., Christopher Oliver, and Shawn Oliver.

Pallbearers are Michael Branscum, Steven Benefield, Gabe McAfee, Ricky Roop, Robert Hanson and Bruce Hanson.

Viewing is from noon until 6 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Friday. The family will have visitation with friends from 6  to 8 p.m., Thursday at the funeral home.

To sign Virginia’s online guestbook please visit

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