Robert M. Howard, 95

Robert M. Howard, 95, passed away February 11, at Regional West Medical Center.

Formerly of Hyannis, Bob had married Evelyn Berniece Miller on December 24, 1946. Together, they published the Grant County Tribune, likewise filling job printing needs in the community, with Berniece mastering skill at the linotype.

The couple, and son Harold, moved to Alliance in 1949, when Howard accepted the job as editor of The Nebraska Cattleman, official monthly publication of the Nebraska Stock Growers Association. Berniece continued to follow the type-setting trade in Alliance.

During tenure with the Association, Howard interviewed pioneer cattle families, resulting in publication of 225 articles, under the title "Hello, There". From June 1954 to June 1970 he served as secretary-treasurer of the Association. He retired from Stock Grower activity in 1988. He had resided at Highland Park Care Center in Alliance since August 2010.

Robert was born April 21, 1917 to Rufus M. and Florence Mae (Wingerd) in a sod house near Flats in west McPherson county, Nebraska.

Following District 45 grade school, he went to Tryon and graduated from McPherson County High School, class of 1935. The next four years he lived in Lincoln, where he graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1941, which included a certificate from the School of Journalism.

Prior to graduation ceremonies, Howard took employment in the advertising department of the Yankton Press – Dakotan. He was there only six weeks before receiving a draft call from McPherson County.

Following induction into the Army at Omaha March 18, 1941, Howard was sent to Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas for training. He served as a company clerk three and a half years. The assignment included being with the Gering National Guard in the Aleutian Islands for 20 months. For the remainder of the war, he was on assignment to areas of the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged on November 11, 1945.

Bob was a member of the United Methodist Church, the Alliance Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Various other entities that felt his influence were the Senior Citizen Center, Mission Store and Alliance American Legion. Howard represented Box Butte County on the Advisory Board of the Aging Office of Western Nebraska in Scottsbluff for eight years.

State affiliation included a lifetime membership in the Nebraska State Historical Society, Nebraska Writers Guild, Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, and honorary member of the University of Nebraska Block and Bridle Club. He was president of the University YMCA in 1940.

Howard's wife Berniece passed away January 5, 1998 at the age of 72. The couple's four children are: Harold (Marge) Odenton, MD; Harvey (Jann) Lincoln; Hester, Sterling, CO and Horace (Susan) Alliance.

A close-up survivor is Bob's sister, Helen Chamberlain of Laguna Woods, CA. There are five granddaughters: Hannah Wheatley, Lincoln; Jennifer Coulter, Mechanicsburg, Ohio; Angie (Ernie) Charles, Mitchell; Lexi Bauer, Fort Collins, CO; and Loren (Phillip) Hernandez, Fresno, CA. Four grandsons include: Robert, Lincoln; Sgt. Jeffrey (Barbara) Olympia, WA; Matthew (Amy), Sarasota Florida, and Jonathan, Odenton, MD.

A niece, Deborah Srb (Ronald) Hardaway is a survivor at Newport Coast, CA, as are a great-nephew, Christopher Srb. Denver.

Also surviving are brothers–in-law and sister-in-law Harry Miller, Scottsbluff; Thomas (Deb) Miller, Eustis; Roy (Judy) Miller, Beaver, Ohio; Robbie (Mia) Miller Evening Shade, Arkansas; Peggy Joan (Elmer) Beem, Sutherland and Glen Beem, Evanston, Wyoming.

He had fourteen great-grandchildren: Hayley (Scott), Calvin, Cade, Colton, Abigail, Tyler, Amanda, Zachary, Erica, Tobias, Meghan, Samantha, Gracie and Logan. He also has two step-great-grandsons: Zachery Hamilton, Fort Lewis WA and Casey Hamilton, Sarasota Florida.

A memorial service for Bob will be held Friday Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church with Rev. Tom Lucas officiating. Burial will be in the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the church, or to the charity of donor's choice. Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.

Dad was a man who stood tall, not just in stature but in character. He was a man of faith in the Lord. He would often say he was so proud of his children and their families. He loved his country and could easily get emotional when speaking of a deceased veteran and their ultimate sacrifice. He was a friendly man, kind and gentle. He was soft spoken. He was an impressive photographer, holding true to his 35-milimeter film and camera. He was optimistic and saw the best in people. He enjoyed sports, popcorn, and an occasional Pepsi. Dad was looking forward to the soon arrival of his first great-great grandchild. These few words are feeble at best to describe a man like Bob. We ran across a letter where Dad had written, "I thank God for the privilege of growing old; that has become the greatest surprise of my life." Dad, we are all so thankful for you and will miss you so.

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