Cover photo for Dr. Buford Philip Howard's Obituary
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1942 Dr. buford philip 2020

Dr. Buford Philip Howard

January 29, 1942 — April 4, 2020

Dr. Buford Philip Howard, 78, of Somerset, Kentucky passed away Saturday, April 4, 2020 at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital surrounded by his wife and son.

He was born on January 29, 1942 in Breathitt Co., Kentucky; son of the late Chalmer & Magnolia “Nonie” Keith Howard.

After graduating from high school, Buford started college at Lees Junior College, then he moved to continue his education at Eastern Kentucky University where he earned his bachelors of science with an emphasis on chemistry and biology. He then decided to continue his education at Murray State University, where he majored in general biology, and atomic and nuclear physics. Buford decided to complete his Master’s degree of combined sciences at the University of Mississippi; and later earned his Doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Mississippi, where he participated in the Atomic Energy Commission.

Buford started his educational career in the early 1960’s, a career in education that would span a lifetime. He would go back to teach at the high school where he graduated, Breathitt Co. High School, in Jackson Co. Buford would go on to begin his career in collegiate education at Lees Junior College, a college he dearly loved, and often spoke about. After teaching at the University of Mississippi, he would return to Lees Junior College before eventually moving to Somerset with his first wife Evelyn. Somerset is where he began teaching Anatomy and Biology at Somerset Community College.

During his tenure at Somerset Community College, Dr. Howard served the college in many different capacities; including, Professor, Division Chair of Biological Sciences, and Dean of Academic Affairs. He retired in 2013 from Somerset Community College; but having the passion for teaching, he returned to SCC to teach as an adjunct instructor, and worked in the tutoring center continuing his passion to help students. He enjoyed mentoring students, and would often write letters of recommendation for many of them, and would continue to follow his former students throughout their careers. Of his biggest pride, he prepared nursing students for their careers.

He was highly respected by his peers, students, and staff at the college. No matter how busy he was, he always made time for anyone in need, or who needed help. He was a great advocate for students. He had a wonderful sense of humor, he loved puns and was a great lover of music. He always wanted to make people laugh. He was a true gentleman. While he was not a prideful man, he would not have told you of his accomplishments, his family was very proud of the man whom he was, and the respect he carried throughout his career.

Buford was a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, Pop to his family, and college professor. He was such a gentle, kind, and charismatic man, who had a loving heart. He never met a stranger and could hold a conversation with anyone about anything. Simply put, to know him was to love him.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda Hibbard-Howard, whom he married on June 29, 2019; a son, Benton “Ben” & (Debbie) Howard of Shopville; a grandson, Philip Vincent & (Shanna) Howard; a great-grand-daughter, Evelyn June Howard, and a great-grand-child soon to arrive; like a grand-daughter, Megan Davis & (Wendell); and like a grand-daughter, Ava Davis; a sister, Juanita “Nita” Stephens of Springboro, Ohio; step-children, Tyler Hibbard & (Johnnie Boston), Sheila & (Frank) Smith; a step-daughter-in-law, Trisha Hibbard; step-grandchildren, Stephanie & (Robert) Reynolds, Cody Smith, and Logan Hibbard; step-great-grandchildren, Emery and Madison Reynolds; special friends, Phil & Cheryl Russell; and two faithful companions, Jacob and Guy Noir. 

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Evelyn Robinson Howard; a step-son, Tim Hibbard; two brothers, Bobby Howard, Burl Howard; two sisters, Helen Delph, and Ethel Stepp.

We sincerely appreciate the condolences each of you have expressed over the past few days. Buford would certainly send his love to all his students, fellow colleagues, and the ones he loved. Following the conclusion of this pandemic, the family will have a Celebration of Life service for everyone to attend and celebrate the person who he was. The family will announce this at a later date.

You may sign the online guest book, or send condolences to the family at

Pulaski Funeral Home is honored to assist the family with arrangements.



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