ALTAMONT — Dick Howie met Ellen Ferry once they have been within the Ramsey Excessive Faculty band. She was a freshman, taking part in the French horn; he was a junior who sat close by, taking part in the trombone.
“We dated since I used to be 13 years outdated,” mentioned Ellen Ferry Howie this week. The couple was of their 63rd 12 months of marriage when Mr. Howie died, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at Albany Medical Middle. He was 86.
Though they gave up taking part in their devices, the Howies metaphorically made stunning music collectively. “We each like to sing and he’s an awesome, nice dancer,” mentioned Mrs. Howie.
As a pair, they’d brass — courageously following their religion, even to far-flung locations. On the middle of their marriage was a mission of serving to others.
Richard William Howie was born in Queens on April 19, 1935, the son of the late William Simpson and Gladys Ann (née Riddle) Howie. “His mom was a beautiful girl, very laid again and really regal,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. His father labored for Con Edison in New York as a store steward.
The household lived in a second-floor residence in Queens with Mr. Howie’s cousins on the primary ground. “All of them had a good time collectively,” mentioned Mrs. Howie.
The Howies moved to Allendale, New Jersey for Mr. Howie’s highschool years, which is the place he met the lady who would turn into his spouse.
“Allendale was a small city like Altamont,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. “He had a number of associates. They’d hang around on their bikes and have a grand time.”
Proper after graduating from Ramsey Excessive Faculty, Mr. Howie joined america Navy as a medic and was assigned to the Marine Corps. He served from 1954 to 1958.
After coaching at Camp Pendleton in California, Mr. Howie was stationed in Okinawa. Throughout these years, Mrs. Howie, a registered nurse, was in nursing college in New York Metropolis.
The couple married on Sept. 13, 1958 in Ramsey, New Jersey quickly after Mr. Howie was discharged from the service. “He went to high school on the GI Invoice for 3 years in New York Metropolis whereas I used to be having two infants, 15 months aside,” mentioned Mrs. Howie.
Mr. Howie labored as a licensed airframe and powerpoint aeronautical mechanic for US Airways. His job on the Albany airport introduced the household to Altamont the place the Howies had their third youngster.
“He liked his work. He had a number of associates within the trade,” mentioned Mrs. Howie.
To maintain his job, Mr. Howie needed to transfer steadily, and his household went with him — to Philadelphia; Baltimore; Middletown, Pennsylvania; Altamont; Bloomfield, Connecticut; and eventually again to Altamont. “We by no means offered the Altamont home; we simply rented it,” mentioned Mrs. Howie.
In the course of the years the Howies have been in Philadelphia and Baltimore, they lived communally as a part of the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Ecumenical Institute, Order: Ecumenical. The institute was based after World Battle II with the mission of constructing a simply and equitable society in concord with the Planet Earth.
“Our funds have been shared and we every had totally different assignments in the home. Some took care of youngsters. Others shopped or did cooking,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. “By dwelling collectively and sharing assets, we may very well be more practical. As we started to work around the globe, we wanted to be non-religious.” The purpose of the group, she defined, wasn’t to proselytize however somewhat to assist others.
The Howies consulted with communities in Wales, Germany, and China amongst different locations. “It was not a straightforward life for our children,” mentioned Mrs. Howie though she famous all of them liked one another and had turned out nicely with their son who’s “very savvy with totally different individuals” in gross sales, their older daughter working as a registered nurse, and their youthful daughter educating in difficult colleges in Washington, D.C.
Of the Howies’ peripatetic way of life, Mrs. Howie mentioned, “We lived in lots of locations; it was fascinating … And we visited many locations on this planet due to flying privileges with Dick’s job. We all the time made fantastic associates.”
Of all of the locations on this planet, what was the Howies’ favourite?
“It’s Altamont due to the group,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. “Dick simply liked Altamont.” A fast journey to the publish workplace, she mentioned, may flip into an prolonged go to, she mentioned, as a result of her husband loved “chitchat” with so many individuals.
“The individuals right here grew to become like prolonged household,” Mrs. Howie mentioned. “Proper now, everyone seems to be surrounding me.”
When the Howies first moved to Altamont within the early Nineteen Sixties, they joined the Altamont Reformed Church, a dedication that lasted the remainder of their lives.
“Dick was raised a Methodist. I used to be Episcopalian … We deliberately needed a church that wanted us, the place we may make a distinction,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. Mr. Howie put out a church publication for years and likewise served as an elder. In the course of the COVID-19 shutdown, he liked to sing within the digital church choir, Mrs. Howie mentioned.
“We’re positively not proselytizers,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. “We get pleasure from individuals, we get pleasure from group.”
Mr. Howie additionally volunteered for Neighborhood Caregivers, which helps individuals keep of their houses by offering wanted companies.
And he was very supportive of the Altamont Free Library the place he served as a trustee on the time of his loss of life. “He was extremely proud to have helped construct the library,” mentioned Joe Burke, the library’s director. The library had not had a everlasting house till it bought and renovated the outdated prepare station on the middle of the village.
“He was an enormous cheerleader, placing up drywall, portray,” mentioned Mr. Burke. “He and Ellen are about serving to different individuals, about collaboration.”
Mr. Burke went on about his good friend, “He had an extremely wealthy inside life, a strong ethical and moral compass.”
Mr. Howie, his spouse mentioned, liked being a father after which a grandfather. “He simply liked individuals and all of the grandkids liked being with him,” she mentioned.
The household would take a week-long trip on the seaside yearly for 27 years, she mentioned. “Richard liked dancing, sitting on the seaside all day, chips and ice cream, spending time with household and associates,” his household wrote in a tribute.
Mr. Howie, his spouse mentioned, was “very task-oriented” and loved sustaining the yard at their Prospect Terrace house. He mowed the garden simply three days earlier than he died.
“We constructed a 28-foot labyrinth. He’d weedwack the seven circuits and I’d ask, ‘Who’re you praying for?’ He mentioned, ‘I’m praying the grass gained’t develop,’” his spouse recalled with a chuckle.
“He was very a lot an extrovert, a individuals individual,” mentioned Mrs. Howie. “He liked having a superb time.”
She concluded, “We’re very grateful for his life …. In fact there’s a disappointment however we’ve a perception this isn’t all there’s.”
Richard William Howie is survived by his devoted spouse, Ellen Elizabeth (née Ferry) Howie; by their kids, Anne Louis and her husband, Frank Mercede, James Michael and his spouse, Claudia Borrero, and Ruth Katharine and her husband, John Hammons; and by his grandchildren, Michael, Maryanne, Christine, Sarah, Alexandria, and Holly.
His dad and mom, William Simpson and Gladys Ann (née Riddle) Howie, died earlier than him, as did his sister, Shirley, and his brother, Invoice.
The household needs to thank everybody for his or her assist and love proven to Richard.
Family and associates are invited to attend his memorial service at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, at Altamont Reformed Church at 29 Lincoln Ave. in Altamont.
Memorial contributions could also be made to Altamont Free Library, 179 Fundamental St., Altamont, NY 12009; Neighborhood Caregivers, 2021 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203; or the Altamont Reformed Church, 129 Lincoln Ave., Altamont, NY 12009.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer