Howard Lance Worrell, affectionately known as “PopPop”. A loving husband and companion to Mildred J. Ridgeway Fuller, entered eternal rest peacefully on March 23, 2022, at home with his loving family around him at the tender young age of 100 years old. Born as the only child to the late Lucille Glover and the late Gaylord Worrell on March 7, 1922, in Norwalk, CT.
Howard attended St. Emma Military Academy in Powhatan, Virginia. This school was exclusively for African American males. As a Cadet Corporal he excelled in his studies and became an expert marksman. After graduating he was drafted into the United States Airforce and stood along with his fellow African American brothers during World War II. He served as a linemen telephone and telegraph 238, during this time he traveled across the globe to places like Africa, Europe, and India to serve his country. His favorite place was Burma, India and Central, Burma. During this time Howard received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, American Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the Victory Medal. Howard was very proud of his accomplishments during his time, along with his Honorable Discharge.
After returning home from the war Howard became a radio disc jockey at WNLK in Norwalk, CT. before becoming employed at G.E. in Bridgeport, CT. Not long after he discovered that an entrepreneurial journey better suited him and created his own company here in Bridgeport, CT called National Medals. Not only was he a respected businessman in the community, but he also owned and had multiple trucks on the road.
With his love for the black community, he became one of the 1st charter Mason brothers of the Corinthian Lodge in Norwalk, CT. During his tenure he held various offices, including the Worshipful Master, the highest ranking of all lodge offices, which a lodge may elect.
The essence of Howard was a charismatic gentle giant with a bright smile to everyone he met. Articulate, poised, and soft-spoken, Howard would hold conversations with scholars, professors, doctors, anyone he came across who was willing to have an intellectual conversation. He had a great enthusiasm for college sports, especially those of HBCUs. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, a true selfless giver. He had a dapper style of dressing along with his good sense of humor. Howard had a love for animals while always showing care and compassion by supporting the A.S.P.C.A. Howard was fond of music and had an extensive record collection that he cherished. Especially for the big bands that played at the Cotton Club in New York City, which he frequently visited on a weekly basis. That included great performers like Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong to name a few.
He was a proud man that expanded his knowledge on African American contributions and struggles throughout history. As an avid book reader, he read over thousands of books and spent countless hours at local libraries researching civil wars. His appreciation for this topic led to join the Civil War Round Table in Connecticut. Not only seeking knowledge of his community, but always improving on his experience, including being a participant of the 1st Million Man March in Washington, D.C. Throughout his life he broadened his comprehension to improve upon his self, by attending many classes throughout the state from computer, writing, electrical, carpentry, to attending Civil War Battles, and various lectures. Howard was a staunch believer in higher education and uplifting all African American children.
He leaves to celebrate his life, his legacy, and to cherish his memory, his loving and devoted wife and companion Mildred J. Ridgeway Fuller, daughters Joell Purnell, Beverly A. Boyd, Joyce Purnell; grandchildren Joesette Purnell, Everest Purnell, Jessica Covington; Erica V. Quarles, Ashley Boyd; son in-law Lawrence Sistrunck; great grandson Carter Yusef Purnell; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. His beautiful cat Midnight will meow his name forever.
A Private Service was held with only family present.
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