Richard J. Howe died February 9, 2012 in a fire in Summit, Washington destroying the home he shared with his wife, Laura (Tobiason), and their rescue cat, Sunshine. Sunshine also perished in the fire.
Richard had just successfully completed cancer treatment and was looking forward to the future. He treasured doing things together with the love of his life, Laura. Richard loved nature and had a special bond with animals, especially cats.
Richard was born August 20, 1941 in Rockford, Illinois, to Clifford W. and Della R. (McCauley) Howe. While his dad served in the Army, Richard spent his early years with his mother at the home of her parents, in Warba, Minnesota. Before the end of the war, they moved to Racine where he was raised and schooled.
After high school, Richard proudly served his country in the Naval Air as an electronics technician, assigned to a surveillance plane. Following his discharge he worked at Young Radiator with his father in Racine, followed by several other professions including cowboy, semi-truck driver, machined parts quality inspector for Marco Marine & Boeing in Seattle, eventually retiring from Boeing as computer analyst. During this time, Richard completed three associates degrees. He took great pride in framing fine art for friends and galleries. Richard enjoyed machinery, wood, and building things. He also enjoyed star-gazing. He was a true Renaissance man.
Richard is survived by his wife, Laura; siblings, Jeanette (Joe) Marcsis, Brad (Donna) Howe, and Carol Fehlberg, all of Racine, Wisconsin; his son, Eric Helms, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Richard was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Helms; grandson, Daniel Helms; his parents, Clifford and Della; step-daughter, Susan Swanberg; brother-in-law, Barry Fehlberg; nephew, Chip Eisel; and his aunts and uncles: Veronica, Mary, Marge, John, Jim, Earl, Tom, Jake, Ted, Bill, Floyd, Wally, Richard, Leslie, and Helen. He was also preceded by many cats, including his cat of 23 years, Lucky.
In his memory, charitable donations may be made to: the Fund for Wild Nature http://www.fundwildnature.org/, the Northwest Organization for Animal Help http://www.thenoahcenter.org or the Richard J. Howe Fund at Bank of America.