Gerald “Gary” Dean Howard, 78, died on November 11th 2020 at his home in Chadron, NE.
Gary was born on July 12th 1942 in McGrew, Nebraska to Clifford Oliver Howard and Jean Shirley Alexander Howard. Gary grew up on a farm in McGrew and enjoyed farm work, fishing, and anything to do with electronics. Gary learned about electronics by reading a book his brother left at home. Gary graduated from McGrew High School in 1960. Gary was a record-holding athlete at McGrew High School and won many awards for his athleticism. Following graduation, Gary attended electronic school in Denver, CO.
Gary began dating Patricia Ann Sittner in 1957 and were married on August 28th 1960. Gary proposed to Patricia on Christmas in 1959. Gary and Patricia celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on this year. Gary loved Patricia with his whole heart and whole being. Gary devoted his life to the happiness of his wife and his family. Kimberley Howard, Mark Howard, and Shelly Howard were born to this beautiful union. Gary did everything with his family. The family often spent summers camping and driving through the mountains. Gary renovated an old bus and turned it into the family camper. Gary and his children had many stories of the exciting family vacations. Gary enjoyed taking the children to go fishing when he got off work and he enjoyed having picnics with the family. Whatever Gary did, he did it with family.
Gary and his family spent time living in Colorado and Wyoming before moving to Chadron, Nebraska in 1978. Gary worked for ATT for 38 years from April 1962 – December 2000. Gary retired and spent the next nearly 20 years enjoying each day. Gary enjoyed thrift shopping and finding good deals at the stores. Gary loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Gary was blessed with his wife and family nearby. Throughout his lifetime, Gary loved electronics and figuring out how they worked. Gary would often tear apart radios, television sets, and computers just to rebuild them. Gary had a big personality and a big laugh. Gary knew just what to say, no matter who the person was. Gary had the ability to diffuse tense situations with his jokes and infectious laughter.
Gary was a devoted family man with a deep love and connection to the Lord. Gary accepted Christ as his savior as a child and continued to have a meaningful relationship with the Lord throughout his lifetime. Gary ensured his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren experienced the love of the Lord. Gary had a gift of leading those around him on the path to the Lord. Gary crossed paths with many individuals throughout his lifetime and led many people to Jesus.
Gary led a life that was so big it is hard to capture in words. Gary was a one of a kind man and a role model to his family. Gary was the best husband, father, and grandfather his family could have ever been blessed with. He will be dearly missed. “We will meet you in Heaven.”
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Ronald Howard and Douglas Howard, great-grandson Dillon Ewald, and sons-in-law Eric Encinas and Todd Hartley.
Gary is survived by wife, Patricia Ann Sittner Howard; daughters Kimberley Ann Howard (Encinas) and Shelly Jo Howard (Katen); son Mark Howard; grandchildren: Brian Glenn, Jodi Glenn (Ewald), Erica Encinas, Anthony Howard, Alicia Encinas, Matthew Howard, Zachary Hartley, McKenzie Katen; great-grandchildren: Tommy Childers, Brylee Glenn, Elysyanna Encinas, Braxten Howard, Zorayah VanHorn, and Xiomara Encinas.
Private graveside funeral services were held at Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron, Nebraska on 11-16-2020 at 10:30am.