Howard (Howie) Hamilton Grant, Jr. was born in Providence, Rhode Island to Howard and Frances Grant on June 9, 1950 and went home to the Lord on December 11, 2020 after an unexpected and swift battle with complicated and compounding illnesses.
Howard is survived by his son Khaleel, his dear sister Alexa, and many cousins that he loved so.
Howard is described by people who knew him as a gentle giant; a man of grace and honor. One who would lift you with his natural humor and warmth. Howard wasn’t one to seek attention or accolade for his accomplishments.
Howard’s fondest memories of his early life in Providence consisted of him playing sports and games with his peers and family in the neighborhood, being a big brother to his sister Alexa, and his close friendships with Glenn McCrae, Johnny McCrea and his cousin Linda Kirkland-Harris.
He was a natural leader and had many firsts in life. In high school, he was the first black member of the crew team. Upon graduation, in 1968 he was approached to enter the groundbreaking Special Programs for Talent
Development (aka TD), an initiative to prepare and enroll black and minority students to Rhode Island colleges and universities. Howard was one of just 13 minorities selected to enter the campus with an estimated 15,000 students, who were predominately white. He and his fellow TD’ers endured overt racism and were required to wear “Disadvantaged Youth” name tags at the university’s dining halls. After successfully completing the preparatory program, he entered the University of Rhode Island (URI) as a full time student.
Wanting to explore outside of Rhode Island after his sophomore year, he left URI and moved to California where he resided for a couple of years. Deciding that he wanted to continue his college education, he returned to URI and was welcomed back into the TD Program. Once again, he chose to do something not traditionally open to African Americans, by electing Architectural Design as his major. At the time it was an unknown field, today it is a billion dollar industry. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, he was not able to secure an opportunity in that field so he took a position as a teller at a local bank. He became the first Black teller that branch had ever had.
He later left Rhode Island and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he was employed as a Loss control manager for a large insurance company. It was there that he met his first wife, Dianna. They married and moved to Nashua, NH with step children Capricia and Tarnya Ross. Khaleel was born shortly after.
In 1999, Howie, Dianna and Khaleel relocated to Seattle, Washington due to a job transfer at the insurance company. From there, he moved to New Jersey and later back to Seattle after retirement, where he would be close to Khaleel his beloved son, with whom he shared a strong and loving bond.
Howard was baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Spirit at Faith Deliverance Assembly AOH church of God where he sat under Bishop Lawrence E. Williams as the pastor.
He enjoyed being a mentor to the youth, hiking, biking, and playing his guitar. He also enjoyed working at Trader Joe’s, being a part of the team, interacting with the public with his positive attitude and cool demeanor.
Howard genuinely loved all who he encountered and he was a man of no mean spirit. God blessed the life of Howard H. Grant Jr.
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