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Howse retiring from State Farm agency

Retiring State Farm agent Charles Howse, center, is pictured with his successors, Mike Hollifield who will work out of the Hartselle office and Amy Cook who will be located at the Priceville office. | Clif Knight

Charles Howse is retiring after serving as a State Farm Insurance agent in Hartselle for nearly 40 years.

Howse, a Chartered Life Underwriter, joined company with the late J.O. Blizzard as a State Farm agent in October 1971 on South Sparkman Street and will end his insurance career at the end of this month, 39 years and nine months later.

He was treated to a retirement reception at his office on West Main Street Friday afternoon where many of his family members, loyal customers and friends stopped by to confer congratulations and extend best wishes.

Cecil Williams, the district manager who hired Howse, was among those present.

“I got to know him through his mother who worked for ‘Chin’ Blizzard at the time,” Williams recalled. “He and his wife were living in Florida and there was sickness in the family. I knew he was a fine young man and I felt he could help his family more if he lived close to them.”

Following in Howse’s footsteps will be two new agents, Michael Hollifield of Guntersville and Amy Cook of Cullman. Hollifield will work out of the Hartselle office and Cook will serve some of Howse’s clients out of the Priceville office.

Howse said his retirement plans include doing more traveling in the family RV with his wife, Mary Ann, and spending more time with his three children and eight grandchildren.”

“What I’m going to miss most is the day-to-day contact with my clients,” he pointed out. “That’s something I’ve enjoyed immensely and I want to know that I deeply appreciate their loyally patronage and friendship. I’m proud to say that some of my present clients are the grandchildren of those I started out with nearly 40 years ago.”

Howse said he would continue to sing lead with the Glory Road Quartet, a gospel music group he organized in 2002.

“Hartselle has been very good to me and my family throughout my career,” Howse said.   I have enjoyed living and working here and plan to continue to support it in any way I can.”

Howse served as a volunteer coach of softball, baseball and basketball for many years and being a member and officer of Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce, Hartselle Beautification Association and Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.