AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — An Augusta native, leader, and friend; Representative Henry “Wayne” Howard was laid to rest Thursday after a lengthy and full life. 

It was a day geared to gather all of Rep. Howard’s loved ones, and celebration filled the room in his honor.

“We get to celebrate the life and the legacy of a friend. Not just a former colleague who we served in the legislature together, but someone who I’ve known for many years– someone that I’m proud to call a friend– a statesman,” Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis said. 

Howard spent 15 years in the state legislature following in the footsteps of his late father. Wayne Howard served his community as a businessman and mentor, but most of all as a friend. His impact was obvious by the filled seats of the Bell Auditorium.

“He cared deeply about his family and this community, that’s why I’m here today,” Mayor Davis said.

The legacy he left behind went far beyond the titles he held; his impact was clear among the people he knew.

“Everything he did, you know, he just put the people first… He just loved everyone, you know, and if it was anything going on in the community, he was just willing to jump in there and do whatever it was that needed to have been done.”

Reverend Karlton Howard had a front-row seat to witness Rep. Howard’s impact. During the service, he was among the loved ones giving a final word to say goodbye to his first friend, his brother. 

A man whose footprint is left in the pavement of Augusta streets, Rep. Howard was a native to the core. He graduated from Lucy C. Laney High School in 1973 and went on to begin his political career in the same decade. 

“Very strong, very easy, very soft spoken, but very strong in what he thought, what he stated and how he acted.”