Cover photo for James Howard Durrett's Obituary
James Howard Durrett Profile Photo
1949 James 2023

James Howard Durrett

December 9, 1949 — May 9, 2023

White Hall, Arkansas


White Hall, AR - On May 9, 2023, beloved father and friend James Howard Durrett of White Hall, Arkansas passed away peacefully in his sleep at age 73. An only child, Howard was born on December 9, 1949, in Laurel, Mississippi to the late James William Durrett and the late Alice Ruth Hutto. He was loved unconditionally by his caring grandparents, the late William Lewis Hutto Sr. and Aurelia Rogers of Laurel, Mississippi and his doting aunts and uncles, Vernon Hutto, Beatrice Hutto, Betty Violette, Rendol Hutto and William “Dub” Hutto. He graduated from Laurel High School and attended Jones County Junior College and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, gaining a Bachelor of Arts in Animal Science.

Howard was a deeply spiritual man who loved Jesus with all his heart and shared that love with everyone around him. He grew up singing at church and school and was a gifted vocalist. He performed professionally with two touring Gospel groups as a young adult and continued to participate in his church choir at White Hall United Methodist Church throughout the remainder of his life.

His dedication to the church and love of music were very important to him. In his spare time, he taught Sunday School and volunteered on the United Methodist Church Board. He regularly worked for the church in administration and organizing events. He took in stray animals in need of love and care and nurtured a small garden from time to time.

Howard worked as a Research Operations Manager for The National Center for Toxicological Research, part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, located within the Pine Bluff Arsenal complex, in Pine Bluff, AR. His co-workers nicknamed him “Howie-Does-It” due to his incredible ability to diplomatically bring people together to collaborate, solve problems and get things done. He married Margaret Nutt in 1979 in White Hall, Arkansas, where they lived and raised their family.

As a father, he was nurturing and endlessly supportive. He worked hard at his job to support his family and spent endless hours working with his kids on their learning, extra-curricular activities, and advocating tirelessly for their education. He coached Little League baseball and was a beloved figure by the kids on the team. He enjoyed researching his family history and documented his ancestry as far back as the 1400s, publishing his findings for other family members to reference. His quirky sense of humor and kind approach to all who met him left a lasting impression.

Howard is survived by his wife of 43 years, Margaret; their four loving children Stephanie Darlene Skipworth-Bow of Longview, TX, Rhonda Dixon (Billy) of Pine Bluff, AR, Jennifer Quraishi (Uzair) of Austin, TX and Jason Durrett (Wendy) of White Hall, AR; eleven grandchildren Megan, Bilal, Chelsey, Jillian, Will, Bryan, Harris, Aaliyah, Haley, Hayden and Hannah; four great-grandchildren, River, Bella, Paisley and Gunner.

At his request, no funeral services will be held. The family requests that friends consider donations to the White Hall United Methodist Church and the Choir, in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements by Arkansas Cremation, 10515 W Markham St, Ste B1, Little Rock, AR 72205.  

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