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Education and Grief Awareness

Growing up in Hartsville, I remember my Dad working with wood when I was a child, family and friends would joke that Dad would have to keep his bird carvings away from our cats because they'd try to eat them. My Dad instilled in me his passion for creating and wood carving at an early age. I graduated from Hartsville High School in 1979. The next four years I studied Illustration and Design at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota Florida. After graduating from Ringling, my wife, Betsy and I moved to Atlanta where I worked as a darkroom technician for two commercial photographers. In 1984 we had our son Howard 4. and moved back to Hartsville, I took a job as Photographer and Lithograph technician at Sonoco, became an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, taught Sunday School and led worship at Morton Presbyterian Church (in Hartsville). In 1991 I met Steve Avant, left Sonoco to work as a lab technician at his business, Omnitec Dental Arts, making crown and bridge prosthesis. I loved this work, casting crowns and bridges from metal, building porcelain fused to metal, a perfect blend of art and science. I'm thankful to have been able to do something I love for 29 years. Steve and I started home prayer groups and doing prison ministry (Kairos Prison Ministries). Eventually this lead to the formation of Hartsville Community Fellowship. I was the worship leader in the early years of HCF and helped form our children's ministry 'Super Saturday'. After Omnitec closed in 2018, I started selling my ukuleles. I built my first ukulele in 2012 and as of this writing have made 147 instruments.

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