Howard “H.T.” Duff of Ponca City passed away Monday July 31, 2017 in Ponca City, OK. He was 92 years of age. H.T. was born December 3, 1924 in Lamesa, TX to Leonard A. and Ruth Moize Duff. Having three older siblings, he was the baby of the family. He attended school in Klondike, Texas. Upon the death of his father in 1940, H.T. dropped out of school to work providing financial support to his mother. Although he was under age he begged his mother to sign the permission forms to allow him to join the Navy. In 1943, when he was old enough, H.T. enlisted in the U.S. Navy at Lamesa, Texas.
H.T. served a tour of Duty with United States Navy during World War II. He was awarded the Victory Medal for his service. He met the love of his life Oma B. Bavousett through his sister, Jean. She and Oma were classmates at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The couple met and fell in love, and on December 4, 1948 in Camp Springs, Texas they were married. They settled down to raise a family in Slaton, Texas where H.T. farmed and Oma taught school. The lovebirds were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby girl. They named her Bea. The farm was a hard living and a shortage of rain caused H.T. to take a job at Southwestern Public Service Company. The DUFFS moved to Lubbock where Bea attended school and college. H.T. and Oma moved to Roswell, New Mexico in Feb. of 1981 to continue working for Southwestern Public Service as superintendent of the New Mexico Division Meter shop. He served the company for 30 years. In August 1999 he and Oma moved to Ponca City, OK to be close to Bea and her family. H.T. was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ponca City. He was a deacon for the First Baptist Churches in Lubbock, Roswell and Ponca City. He enjoyed working in his yard, quoting poetry, and woodworking. He also was an avid reader going through more than 16 books a week. H.T. loved to cook and often made casseroles and delivered them to the elderly (although he was 80 himself). Christmas was a special time for him to bake; he would always deliver pecan pies and Mississippi mud cake to the staff at the church. Anyone who knew H.T. knew he was ornery. He loved to tease and make you laugh. He also was prone to tell anyone he met that the H.T. stood for “Hard Times because he gave everyone a hard time”. He was often seen wearing his hat and boots.
Survivors include; a daughter: Bea Ward and husband Robert of Winfield, KS, a granddaughter Amanda and husband Daniel Dawson of Lyons, KS, a grandson Dustin and wife Charlene Ward of Arkansas City, KS, two great grandchildren, Eliza and Samuel Ward also of Arkansas City, a sister Marie Augustsen of Tulsa, OK, a sister-in-law Mary Lou Bavousett of Weatherford, TX, and many nieces and nephews.
H.T. was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Oma of 55 years, a brother and a sister.
Memorial services will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Ponca City with Grace Memorial Chapel in care of the arrangements. The family wishes for Memorial contributions to be made to the First Baptist Youth Group 218 S. 6th Ponca City, OK 74601.
Online condolences may be done at www.gracememorialchapel.net
H.T. was a remarkable and godly man whose love for the Lord and for his fellow man touched the lives of so many. I am blessed to have known him and more so to be related to him. Bea, Robert, Amanda, Dusty, you and your families as well as our extended family are in my prayers. I love you all.
Carolyn DuffHouston, TX
I was saddened to learn about H. T. He was a very special person. I have fond memories of him at FBC Roswell. He was a mentor and major influence on many in our church. (Many of whom are no longer with us.) May God encourage and comfort his family and friends at this difficult time.
Jerry Nelle (Seale) Stone
Jerry Nelle (Seale) StoneRoswell, NM