Ulysses Howard, Jr., a retired Toledo police officer who received numerous medals and commendations over his career for bravery and professionalism, died of coronary artery disease Friday in Toledo Hospital. He was 70.
Mr. Howard's first medal of meritorious service was awarded in 1986. He pursued two armed bank robbers who fled in a vehicle and then on foot after their vehicle crashed.
Officers arrested the men and recovered two firearms and more than $2,300 in cash. In the after-action report, the lieutenant in charge wrote that Mr. Howard's "diligent, quick actions and bravery were responsible for the apprehension of two bank robbers," according to police department records.
He was awarded another medal later that year for saving the life of a woman who was about to be crushed by a stolen Pepsi truck.
The driver struck five vehicles, injuring several people, in his attempt to get away with the stolen truck. The thief then backed the truck into a compact car, injuring the woman inside, and was trying to back all the way over the car when Mr. Howard broke the passenger side window of the moving truck, climbed inside, and arrested the driver.
In 1972, Mr. Howard, while a detective, was credited with helping crack a burglary ring that was breaking into homes in West Toledo. He visited every roll call to update patrol officers about the burglary investigation. "This initiative and daily communication proved to be a successful factor and led to the arrest of four suspects," a sergeant wrote.
Mr. Howard joined the police department in 1968 after working as a meat cutter and was a patrolman for three years until 1971, when he became a detective.
He was promoted to sergeant in field operations in 1984, and went on to do stints in the communications and traffic sections. He retired in 1990.
After retiring, Mr. Howard became transportation supervisor for the Toledo Head Start program, a position he held at the time of his death, according to his wife, Linda.
"He loved the Head Start program," she said.
His pastimes included playing cards, which he did with his dear friends George Davis and John Knox. Every Saturday, he spoke to another old friend, his cousin Steve Palmer, a retired Toledo police officer living in Charlotte.
To his friends, he was "Uly," but to his siblings and nephews he was "Baby Bro," a nickname family members gave him as a child, his son, Mark Howard, said.
Mr. Howard was born in Springfield, Ohio, the fifth of Corilee and Ulysses Howard, Sr.'s six children. He was 10 when his family moved to Toledo, where he graduated from Scott High School.
He was previously married to Willetta Condrey and Betty Grant.
Surviving are his wife, Linda; daughters, Anita Devalt, Denise Smith, Autumn Jackson, and Yolanda Carter; sons, Tony and Mark; stepsons, Anthony and Larry Glover; sisters, Charlotte Westfield, Joyce Neal, and Jessie Awls; brother, Ivan Cage, 18 grandchildren, and several great grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in St. James Armory Church, 3319 Nebraska Ave., with a wake an hour earlier.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Dale Riggs Funeral Home, with a Fraternal Order of Police ceremony at 4:30.
Staff writer Bridget Tharp contributed to this report.
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