Less than a week after being recognized by the city of Social Circle by naming the new bridge in his honor, long-time local civil right’s activist Robert “Bobby” Howard has passed away. Howard passed away on Jan. 21, 2021. He was 80 years old.
On Saturday, Jan. 16, members of Howard’s family and officials from the city of Social Circle gathered on the new bridge on South Cherokee Road to unveil the sign bearing his name. The Robert “Bobby” Howard Bridge spans the CSX railroad tracks outside downtown Social Circle along old Highway 11.
Howard fought alongside civil rights activists during the civil rights era and was an advocate for years for local civil rights and for justice in the Moore’s Ford lynchings. Howard, who has battled Alzheimers for a number of years, was unable to attend the ceremony naming the bridge in his honor on Saturday due to his health, but his wife was in attendance and was able to accept the honor on his behalf.
“He used to cross the old bridge here every day to take a lunch to his father down at the mill,” Rachel Howard said at the ceremony that was streamed live. “Then he later crossed it every day to go work at the mill himself.”
Howard’s funeral will be at 12 noon on Jan. 28 at Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, 325 Hickory Drive in Social Circle. There will be a public viewing from 4 – 8 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Young Levett Funeral Home, 3106 West Street S.W. in Covington.