Howard passed away on November 26, 2017 in Sandwich, MA after a long battle with cancer. He went peacefully surrounded by his four sons and wife of 53 years, Giohra “Julie” Howard.
Eldridge, as he was known growing up, was the son of Stella Bowman and Arthur M. Howard. On May 24, 1931 during the Great Depression in Matoaka, West Virginia, Ed was born prematurely at 6 months and weighed just over two pounds. The doctors gave him zero chance of survival. Due to his mother’s illness, his sister Marie took Ed home to their farmhouse in Salyersville, Kentucky, used an old shoebox for a crib and proved the doctors wrong. Ed spent his youth working on the small family farm, hunting, fishing, exploring and spending days at his favorite swimming hole, Irving Rock on the Licking River. He loved to sing and go to church, where he was a member of the choir at Salyersville Christian Church. He was a star basketball player at Salyersville High School, once scoring 35 points in a game! Ed dropped out of high school, signed his mother’s name to the consent form and joined the Armed Air Forces. Ed honorably served his country from 1948 to 1970 with tours in Greenland, Washington, D.C., Tripoli, Libya, Cape Cod and Vietnam. His primary role was as a Flight Engineer in test flight. In Vietnam in 1969, he was the site chief at a small jungle airstrip for Forward Air Control. Ed retired from the Air Force and started working as a bartender at the Music Box and On the Rocks Lounge. In 1970, his dream of owning his own business came true when he opened the Howard Lounge (formerly Mr. Seafood) in Buzzards Bay, which he ran with his wife until 1990. Ed’s personality would fill the room and he was the life of any party. With his charm and singing and Julie’s bartending, the lounge thrived. Ed always had his hand in a bit of everything. He ran a used car dealership, owned and operated a motel, built houses, officiated basketball games, drove an 18-wheeler around the country for Mayflower and owned and managed numerous properties. In 1978, Ed and Julie bought the Canalview Apartments in Sagamore, MA. The property was run down and in terrible shape. Through blood, sweat and tears Ed and Julie worked to the bone to create a clean, safe and affordable community for their residents and to leave that legacy to their sons.
Ed loved sports. He was a gifted athlete and coach. Ed was an avid golfer and was known on the golf course for his unorthodox “baseball swing.” In 1996, he won the Otis Club championship for his age group. He played and coached basketball in the Air Force. As a coach, the Bolling AFB Generals, once filled in for the Washington Generals against Meadowlark Lemon and the Harlem Globe Trotters! He also coached all of his boys in baseball from Little League to college-level summer leagues. Ed was a unique and demanding coach. He was loud and aggressive with his booming Kentucky accent and unorthodox style. He knew how to get the best out of each player and they loved him and still ask about him to this day. He also loved to hunt and one of his favorite things was taking trips to Virginia in the camper to go hunting with his boys. Ed and Julie always had a big garden and chickens and would share the fruits of their labor with friends and loved ones. Ed loved mowing the lawn and insisted on having the best lawn around!
Edwin is survived by his wife, Julie, and four sons, Edwin (Pam), David (Patty), James (Cammie) and Raymond (Lyndi). His daughter Deborah predeceased him in 1989. He was also predeceased by his sister, Marie Akers in 2007 and brother, Artie M. in 1941. Ed has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at the Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home 40 MacArthur Blvd., Bourne, MA on Monday December 4th from 11:00am to 12 noon followed by a Funeral Mass at Noon. Burial will be at 1:15pm at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Reception will follow TBD.