Howard B. Hovis, 90, of Decatur passed from this life September 8, 2013. He was born July 30, 1923.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John R. and Cordie Mae Hovis; three brothers, William, Milton and Bobby; and one son, John Randal Hovis.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Barbara Neville Hovis; one daughter, Paula Sutton (Ralph) of Decatur; one son, Chuck Hovis (Beverly) of Hartselle; one sister, Marguerite Hill of Homer, Ga.; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Mr. Hovis served with the Eighth Army Air Corp, 325th Bomb Squadron as bombardier in Europe during World War II. He was wounded on his 28th mission when his B-17 plane was shot down over Germany. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
He began his long career with NASA in the early 1950's working with Wernher von Braun and his team at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
In the early 1960's, he became involved in the manned space flight program with the Mercury Project. He was also part of several launch teams at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
He also worked on the Saturn V Rocket, Skylab, and the Gemini and Apollo manned missions. He retired from NASA in 1979.
Mr. Hovis was a member of Central Baptist Church. He was a lifelong member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a member of VFW, and past president of the Decatur Labor Council.
He loved his country and served it well. He touched many lives and will be truly missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Central Baptist Church's building fund, Hospice of the Valley or a charitable organization of your choice.
Funeral service will be Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at noon at Roselawn Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Rob Jackson officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until noon at the funeral home.