Obituary – Aubrey Burns “Horsefly” Howe

Published 1:12 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

Aubrey Burns “Horsefly” Howe, 87, passed into glory on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford.

Funeral services were at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug.18, 2019, at Well Funeral Home in Batesville, Miss., with interment to follow at Forrest Memorial Park in Batesville.  The family received friends on Saturday evening, Aug. 17, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home in Batesville.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Aubrey was born on May 10, 1932, in Oakland, Miss., to the late Ethel Burt and Gertrude Burns Howe.  He served his country in the US Army’s First Infantry Big Red One Division during the Korean War. As a veteran, he attended the police academy and also the FBI Academy.  He was a member of the Senatobia Church of God.

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There are two things that meant the world to “Horsefly” Howe:  his family and being a police officer. He doted on his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  They were the “purtiest thing you’ve ever seen” and were as much a badge of honor to him as the badge he wore on his uniform.

Aubrey was a police officer for over 40 years.  He served as Chief of Police for the city of Batesville from 1967 through 1969.  In 1999, he was inducted into the American Police Hall of fame in Miami, Fla., and was nominated as national police officer of the year.

He was commissioned as Deputy Sheriff in McNairy County, Tenn., by legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser of Walking Tall fame in addition to having Deputy Sheriff Commissions in Panola County, Miss., and Shelby County, Tenn.

He had a distinguished career as captain, receiving many accolades and steering those who “got off track” back in the right direction.  He was a Grand Knight of Michael the Archangel Police and Fire Legion. He received the Silver Star of Bravery and also the J. Edgar Hoover Award for Distinguished Service.  He was also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Distinguished Mississippian Award. Upon his retirement from service, Mississippi House Resolution 194 was passed in his honor for his service to the State of Mississippi.  He was a Colonel Aide de Camp for Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter’s 1990 Staff and served in this same capacity for Mississippi Governor Cliff Finch. These are only just a few of his vast life time achievements. 

Aubrey loved to travel and he loved baseball.  He was a devoted fan of Ole Miss baseball and was a founding member of the Ole Miss Bullpen Club.  He loved the Batesville community and could often be seen in his younger days jogging with Gov. Cliff Finch or working in his off time at Dunlap and Kyle.

The loving family he leaves behind include his children:  Burney Howe (Carla), of Pontotoc, Miss., Michael Howe (Pam), of Batesville, and Ladye Durdin (Ray), of Senatobia, Miss.; grandchildren: Brandon Howe (Sharon), Michael Howe, and Seth Howe, of Pontotoc, Jonathon Howe, Jack-Thomas Durdin, and Eliza-Jayne Durdin, of Senatobia, Chelsea Foshee (Kaleb), of Sardis, Miss., Raychel Durdin of Oxford; great grandchildren, Brayden, Axel, and Ragan Howe of Pontotoc, and John-Wyatt Foshee of Sardis, Miss.; his brother, Darnell Howe, of Oakland, Miss. He also leaves behind Ricky Joe Kendall, Lisa Powell, and a host of family and friends.  

He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 59 years, Joy Irene Swindle Howe; his brothers Wallace and E.B Howe; and sisters, Lenora Fly and May Donnelson.