William Chowning Howk Jr., 59, mostly known as “Catfish,” was killed Wednesday [August 15, 1979] at 8:05 p.m. when he was struck by a southbound L & N train near the Bridge Street crossing. “He just kind of dove in front of the train,” said Johnny Sorrell, witness to the accident. The train didn’t have time to stop.
Several of Howk’s belongings were found near the accident scene on an old parked car-a wallet and a cigarette lighter he had taken from his pockets. County Coroner Ed Whaley said a coroner’s inquest will be held and an autopsy performed to determine the official cause of death. Howk lived at Route 5, Harrison County with his stepmother, Mrs. W. C. Howk, Sr. He worked part time for Donald Edwards as a plumber. “I guess he worked for me for the last 20 years off and on,” said Edwards. “He worked with about every plumber in town.”
A veteran of World War II, Howk served in the 3rd Raider Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps and in the U.S. Air Force.
He was honorably discharged and was a member of the P. Rennaker Bedford Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Howk was also a member of the Cynthiana Christian Church.
Survivors include one daughter, Martha Dan Howk Yates of Richmond; a sister, Mrs. Robert Owens of Chevy Chase, Md.; a half-sister, Mrs. B. G. Parfet of Scottsdale, Ariz., and a half-brother, Dan Howk of Harrison County. Graveside services were held at Battle Grove Cemetery Saturday at 10 a.m. The Rev. Larry W. Bishop conducted the funeral.