Robert Gray Howard, 95, loving husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great– grandfather, and friend died at his home in Delray Beach, Florida on March 12, 2020. He was a former resident of Rye, N.Y. and Manchester, Vermont.
Born on November 21, 1924 in Johnson City, New York, he was the son of Nan and Norman Howard. He was raised in Binghamton, where he attended the local high school. Bob, as he was known, attended Hamilton College. On March 12, 1945, seventy-five years to the day he died, he was appointed to the rank of Ensign in the U.S. Navy. After the war, he returned to Hamilton College, and in 1948 with his degree in hand and Janet, his Wells College bride by his side, he returned to Binghamton and his family’s hardware business, A.L. Davis Son Inc.
After moving to Rye, he worked for the brokerage firm of Reynolds and Company. Throughout his thirty years with the firm, he contributed to its expansion and success until his retirement in 1984 as executive vice-president of what had become Dean Witter Reynolds.
Mr. Howard was an active member of Rye Presbyterian Church and other community organizations. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary degree from Hamilton College.
“A proud member of the Greatest Generation, he will be truly missed and remembered by all for his sense of humor and loyalty and love of his family and friends,” said his family.
Mr. Howard is survived by his wife of seventy–two years, Janet (Staley) Howard; two daughters, Susan Canada and her husband Dennis of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Sally Wichert and her husband Kim of Burlington, Vermont; a grandson, David Bruce and his wife Krista; great–grandchildren Braxton, Taylor, and Eliza of Greenwich; and a granddaughter, Carolyn Long and her husband Elisha; and great–granddaughters Sophie and Emma of Cohasset, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his nieces, Diane Bernard, Jean McCormick, and Ann Lacey, and his nephews Stuart Staley and Kip Howard. He is predeceased by his brother, Norman Howard.
Donations in his memory may be sent to the Robert Howard Scholarship at Hamilton College, or a charity of one’s choice.