A Sacred Moment


Anthony Edward Howard

April 02, 1937 - January 19, 2015

Anthony Edward "Tony" Howard passed away peacefully on Monday, January 19, 2015 with his family by his side. He was 77.

Tony was born on April 2, 1937 to Charles William and Margaret Yvonne (Jacobi) Howard in Seattle. He spent his early childhood in Sumner and Puyallup with his little brother, Stephen William Howard, who was born in 1940. Despite the almost four-year gap in their ages, Steve and Tony grew up to be close friends as well as brothers.

In Tony's teenage years, the family moved north to Seattle, first to Queen Anne Hill, and then to the Northgate area. Although he graduated from his father's alma mater, Roosevelt High School, his brief time at Queen Anne High School was very important; he met two people who were destined to be his lifelong friends, Charlie Anderson and Mike Tauber, there. Charlie had a younger sister named Margaret. A romance soon developed, and Margaret and Tony were married on June 18, 1959.

Tony and Margaret lived in several different apartments in the Seattle area in the early part of their marriage. Upon Tony's mother's death in 1966, they moved to the family house in Northgate. Their daughter Christy was born in January of 1969. In 1976, the family moved to Kirkland; Tony and Margaret lived in Kirkland until 1994, when they moved to Monroe.

Tony held a wide variety of jobs in his younger years, including stints at the American Tar factory, Boeing, Everett Abstract and Title, and Washington Natural Gas. In the early 1960s he began his career at Puget Sound Power and Light, where he worked as a draftsman before being promoted into management. He served for many years as the manager of the records division and print shop prior to his retirement in 1994.

Although Tony was a dedicated employee, his family, friends, and avocations were the center of his life. He and Steve spent all the time they could together; since Steve was based in California for most of his adult life, many of their conversations were by phone, but they also arranged for frequent family visits, during which they maintained a fierce rivalry in late-night cribbage games. Steve's death in 1986 was one of the great sadnesses of Tony's life.

Tony was a natural storyteller but enjoyed the give-and-take of conversation as well. He also relished giving advice, though he set great store on politeness and generally waited to be consulted before providing his opinion. He was a voracious reader, and in retirement he took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about all sorts of topics, especially history, science, and politics. He loved to play cards with family and friends; he was always up for learning new games, but his long-term favorites included pinochle, hearts, Quiddler, the aptly-named Spite and Malice, and a rummy variant known as "Grouch." He was also a fan of chess, and cherished an alabaster and onyx chess board that was a gift from Steve in the 1970s.

The vast majority of the Howard family's vacations were spent in the company of family or friends. From 1960 to 1998, the Howards owned nine different powerboats in succession, which made for wonderful summer vacations in the San Juans. Maintaining and improving these boats, along with planning trips, occupied much of Tony's time in the offseason. He was also a conscientious skipper, and at his instigation he and Margaret both completed the United States Power Squadrons Boating Course in 1977. After their boating days ended, Tony and Margaret purchased a travel trailer and, later, a motorhome, and began exploring by land rather than by sea.

In 1979, Tony and his friends and colleagues Jack Howe and Bob Mikko began planning an ambitious trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska, and the Howard, Howe, and Mikko families set off in the summer of 1980. Although their boats were considered somewhat small for such a lengthy trip involving two ocean crossings, it was a resounding success-so much so that the Howes and Howards made a second trip to Alaska in the summer of 1984.

Throughout his life, Tony was fascinated by planes. One of his passions was designing, building, and flying radio-controlled model aircraft with his friends. He was involved with the Seattle Radio Aero Club for many years, and served as an officer and as president. He built and sold kits based on his designs from the 1960s through the 1980s, and in the last decade of his life he ran a company to sell accessory kits for model P-51 planes.

When he wasn't working on boats, cars, or model planes, Tony enjoyed woodworking and making improvements around the house. In his later years, he also enjoyed writing about his memories, documenting the boats and cars he'd owned, and organizing and scanning family photographs.

Tony and Margaret shared a terrific circle of friends, with many friendships spanning fifty years or more. Among the many people who were important to Tony throughout his life were Mike Tauber and his late wife Lee; Jerry and Sandy Estes; Bob and Lucille Kelley; Daphne Dempsey and her late husband Bob; Mike and Pam Dailey; the late Jack and Arlene Howe; Weldon and Jetty Dolgoff; and Bob and Laurel Mikko.

Tony also leaves behind the family he loved: his wife of 55 years, Margaret Howard; his daughter, Christine Howard; his soon-to-be son-in-law Peter Mesling; his step-granddaughter, Althea Mesling; his brother-in-law, Charles (Lura Belle) Anderson; his sister-in-law, Margaret (Edwin) Baldwinson; and his nieces and nephew, Danielle Howard (Tony Cranfield), Laurie Anderson, Edwin Anderson (Jodi), and Kathleen Anderson-Beck (Donovan Beck). His parents, his brother, his father's second wife Clarabelle Howard, his mother-in-law Helen Josefson, and his brother-in-law Eric Josefson preceded him in death.

We will miss Tony deeply, but we are grateful for his presence in our lives and the years of memories we've made.

Tony's friend Mike Dailey has posted a tribute to him on RCgroups.com. To read Mike's memories and learn more about Tony's radio control aircraft designs, please visit this link.


We hope you'll be able to join us at 1:30 on Saturday, March 21 in Room 7 of the Phinney Center in Seattle to share memories of Tony over coffee and cookies. Tony was not fond of dressing up for events, so please feel free to honor his memory by dressing comfortably.

The Phinney Center is at 6532 Phinney Avenue North in Seattle. You'll find driving, walking, and transit directions to the Center on their website here. We'll be in the "Blue Building," which fronts on Phinney; Room 7 is on the west side of the top floor of the building. If stairs are an issue for you, you'll want to be sure to park in the upper parking lot and enter the building via the small doorway to the left of the external staircase; you can then take the elevator up to the third floor.

Char BarrettHComment