In Memoriam: Howard Himmelbaum

Howard Himmelbaum


Howard Himmelbaum was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, NY.  After Army service, he went to work with SNCC in Arkansas.  His family writes:

“Like Aaron, who lit the first perpetual light for the Jewish people and who tradition credits with epitomizing darkhei shalom (the ways of peace); he employed civil resistance to struggle against oppression. Though threatened with bodily harm, he led sit-ins at segregated local businesses. He didn’t hesitate to be part of the demonstration to integrate the State Capitol’s basement cafeteria though he was burned with mustard gas, beaten with billy-clubs and dragged through the street. Despite all he had endured, he was not deterred from spear-heading voter’s registration initiatives in Marvell and Helena-West Helena. Although he was immensely claustrophobic, he had to occasionally hide in caskets to escape those who were seeking to do him harm—all because he was providing a cover for Blacks who wanted to vote where only Whites were allowed. Prior to relocating to Dallas, TX with his family in the 1980s, Howard organized the community based federal Credit Union in College Station. In the 1990’s he moved to Southern Florida where he served as the Director of Operations for SER-Jobs for Progress–a program that worked to get counseling and job placement for that area’s youth, seniors and refugees. After working almost 50 years to help his fellowman, he retired in 2006 and moved back to Arkansas. An activist at heart, he couldn’t resist the itch to once again be a change-maker in his local community. He volunteered to work with Governor Mike Beebe’s campaign and after the campaigning ended, he came out of retirement to serve as office manager to Gov. Beebe.

Howard died February 2, 2012 in Little Rock, AR.”

Howard Himmelbaum