William Howard Rainwater

  • Rainwater

William Howard Rainwater dided December 24, 2019 in Denison, Texas at the age of 84. Howard was born May 11, 1935 in Tahlequah, Okla. to William Humphrey “Bill” Rainwater and Ethel Stone Rainwater. He graduated from Checotah High School in Cecotah, Okla. in 1953. He attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he ran on the track team as a sprinter. It was at SOSU where he met and married Verzella Jean McGill, his wife of 61 years.

His educational pursuits included a B.S. in elementary education, Masters of Teaching, and over 90 hours of doctoral studies in Administration from Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa.

He began his career in education as an elementary school teacher in Sherman, Texas; Garden Grove, California, and Madill, Okla. He served as elementary principal in Perry, Okla., and High School Principal in Claremore, Okla. He came to Denison as the director of guidance and taught psychology at Grayson Community College in 1969, where he later served as Vice President for Student Services until his retirement in 1993.

Howard served as an elder for Park Avenue Church of Christ (formerly, Armstrong Avenue) for 26 years. Howard loved God, his tight-knit family, church family, and community. He was passionate about encouraging all people, especially children and youth. His joyful spirit and gregarious personality were contagious - always offering a handshake and a word of wisdom. His lifetime hobbies were associated with horses - breeding and raising them and teaching his daughters and grandchildren to ride.

He is survived by his wife, Verzella Rainwater, two daughters; Rachel Rainwater-McClure and her husband Basil of Denison, Texas, Elaine Rainwater Orr and and her husband Jim of Abilene, Texas; four grandchildren, Matthew McClure of Austin, Texas, Joshua McClure of Abilene, Texas, Caleb Orr of Washington D.C., and his wife Gabriella, KayAnn Orr of Fort Worth, Texas; a brother, Fred Rainwater and his wwife Jenny of Frisco, Texas; three nephews and their families and many cousins.