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James H. Howze Sr., teacher
Jan. 16, 1939 -- Jan. 7, 2007

James H. Howze Sr., a math teacher for more than 30 years in the Buffalo Public Schools, died Sunday after being stricken in his Buffalo home. He was 67.

A native of Anniston, Ala., Mr. Howze earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Alabama A&M College and a master's degree in education from Buffalo State College.

He spent most of his teaching career at School 31 and Buffalo Alternative High School, where he earned an interesting nickname before he retired in the late 1990s.

"The kids called him 'Mean Mr. Howze,' because he looked mean, to make them do what they were supposed to do," said his wife, the former Leathia Bryant. "But they said it in a joking way."

While he was teaching, Mr. Howze also held down a second job, working nights at the General Motors foundry. For years, he and his wife also owned Fillmore Liquor Store.

A man who did not know the meaning of the word "retirement," Mr. Howze became a handyman in his later years, doing odd jobs around Buffalo.

He also was one of the founding members of the Aggressive Social Club.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, James H. Jr. and Jeffrey C., and two daughters, Angela Howze-Harris and Zilphia A.

Services will be at noon Friday in True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St.


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