Howard Sultan Rasheed, Ph.D., made his transition on April 27, 2013. He was an extraordinary, kind and gentle man who found much joy in living, learning and teaching. Strong and true in his Islamic faith and using that as his guiding principle in life, he tried to positively impact the life of everyone he touched. He was a truly compassionate man, and so very generous with his spirit, his soul, and his time.
His meandering path began with his birth in Chicago on February 3, 1953, and eventually brought him to Wilmington, where he made his transition. He was predeceased by his parents Howard Lawrence Lee and Kathleen Phillips, and brother Leonard John Lee, Sr. He was husband to Linda Upperman Smith, brother of Michael Phillips (Cleo) and Hattie Lee Williams (Samuel); father of Candace Harriman (Steve), Derick Rasheed (Yuko), Mikail Rasheed Ph.D., Hassan Rasheed Ph.D (Hanni), Robert L. Ross and Christopher M. Ross (Bridget); grandfather to Samira, Bryce, Jared, Deshon, Zakir, Zaid, Abdul Hakim, and Quinn. He leaves a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins; a very special friend, Chris Baker; and a number of former students, mentees, friends and colleagues.
Howard began his education in the Chicago Public Schools and entered the University of Southern Illinois at the age of 16. He completed his undergraduate studies in business administration at the University of West Florida, where he also earned his MBA. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Florida State University in Global Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and taught at the University of West Florida and the University of South Florida. At the time of his death he was an associate professor of management in the UNC Wilmington Cameron School of Business where he taught Innovation, Business Strategy, and Entrepreneurship. He was published on a wide range of topics.
Howard had a strong commitment to giving back and helping others. He accomplished this formally through the Tauheed Islamic Center, the Tampa Bay Men’s Club and 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and informally by simply supporting and mentoring anyone who would listen. On a trip to South Africa, Howard picked up a license plate holder which said “Each One Teach One” and that became his motto. He strongly believed that the world would be a better place if everyone helped just one person.
He worked tirelessly within several 100 Black Men chapters, first in Pensacola, then in Tampa and Triangle East (Raleigh/Durham), and helped found the Coastal North Carolina chapter in Wilmington. He then moved into national leadership positions, appointed as the Chair of the Leadership Development Institute Think Tank, a social policy group. He had been serving as vice chair for programs at the time of his passing. Through his local chapter he was mentoring students at Hoggard High School.
Howard wore a third hat as an entrepreneur. He founded the Institute for Innovation, developed Idea Accelerator, a group intelligence system and software for innovation and strategic transformation, and recently published a book entitled Innovation Strategy: 7 Steps to Creative Leadership and a Sustainable Business Model.
Howard constantly created extra hours to the day to make sure that, while he was switching among his 3 hats, he would still have time to spend time with Linda, his best friend and the love of his life, whom he adored. He found such joy in his life, laughing out loud as often as possible, and was a genuinely happy person. He played tennis several days a week and loved a good game of bid whist. He was dedicated to mastering new technologies and in his 50s learned how to operate complex machinery such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. He made time for everyone he met and filled his life with music, traveling, and writing. He deeply loved and honored his children and grandchildren and was so proud of all of them.
Howard completed what had been expected of him while on this earth. To honor his memory, we must forever respect what he has taught us: to help others, to continue to learn and grow, and to live each day to its fullest, filled with joy and laughter and love.
Final arrangements for Howard Rasheed
A private internment was scheduled for Tuesday, April 30th. A public celebration of Howard's life was held on Wednesday, May 1st, 12 noon, at the UNCW Burney Center, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28405.
In lieu of flowers you may send a gift to either the Dr. Howard S. Rasheed Scholarship Fund at the UNC Wilmington Cameron School of Business, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, N.C 28405 or the Tauheed Islamic Center Building Fund, 721 Castle Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.
- Linda Upperman Smith