Matthew Howard, Jr., a career educator and life-long native of Bessemer, AL, transitioned on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Mr. Howard was a graduate of Dunbar High School. He received his Bachelors degree in Chemistry from Alabama State University in 1952. While there, he served as the president of the Gamma Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and was also the president of the Panhellenic Council which governed all Greek organizations on campus. Upon graduation, Howard served as a Radar Platoon Sargent in the US Army during the Korean War. His life as an educator began in 1954 at East Highland HS in Sylacauga. There he taught both Chemistry and Physics. He later taught at Brighton HS and Wenonah HS in Birmingham. His career culminated in 1996 at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, where he served as the Chairman of the Natural Science Department. During his career, he received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards from a wide range of universities, including Howard University and Washington University in St. Louis. In 1968, he became the first African-American graduate student in the Chemistry department at the University of Mississippi. He received his Masters of Science degree from Tuskegee University and Ed.S from the University of Alabama Birmingham. He was preceded in death by his wife, Effie Hicks Howard and his oldest son, Dr. Reginald Howard. He is survived by: daughters, Saundra Howard Jackson, Danita Howard (Stan) and Lorna Howard; son, Dr. Selwynn Howard (Dr.Paytie), nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends. Public visitation will be held Friday, March 6, from 1-8:00 P.M. at Chambers Funeral Home. Family will receive friends from 6:30-8:00 P.M. in the Chapel. Celebration of life service will be held Saturday, March 7, 2015, 12:00 Noon at Macedonia Baptist Church, Bessemer. Mr. Howard will be laid to rest in Highland Memorial Gardens. Condolences may be left for the family on our website, chambersfuneralhome.net.