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Wilson St. Clair Howe, of Longmont, died at his residence on September 19, 2007, of complications from a stroke. He was 83.
Wilson was born on December 30, 1923 in Wabash, Arkansas to Otis Dexter Howe and Crete St. Clair. His grandfather, James A. St. Clair, was an early settler and grocer in Longmont. Wilson lived in Arkansas as a boy until his father was killed in an automobile accident. Shortly after, he moved to Colorado with his mother and siblings.
Wilson grew up in Longmont, graduating from Longmont High School in 1941. He lettered three years in football and basketball. During his senior year, the football team tied Grand Junction 6-6 in the state championship and the basketball team lost to Fort Collins in the state championship game. After finishing high school he went to the New Mexico Military Academy, which aided his quick rise to becoming a flier in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He piloted B-17 bombers at age 19 with the 15th Air Force and flew 18 missions, spending 9 months in Italy and receiving the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the European Theater Operation medal with four battle stars.
After returning from service, he entered the University of Denver, where he played on the football team. He later attended Colorado State University. While back at the family farm in Wabash, he was blessed with the chance to marry Ruth Young Faulkner, and did so on July 5, 1952 in Helena, Arkansas.
After a year in Wabash, the Howes moved to Colorado to begin a family together. Over the years Wilson found many outlets for his wide-ranging curiosity. He tried uranium prospecting, building go-carts, working with early fiberglass and Styrofoam, and investigating uses for the first generation of fluorescent paint, as well as working in manufacturing and design, among other varied interests and pursuits. He holds two U.S. patents, one for a segmented flexible quick-connector nut, and one for in-motion railway scales.
Wilson was passionate about golf his whole life. He shot his age at 68 on the course at Fox Hill in Longmont, where he also enjoyed a hole-in-one on number eleven.
Of Wilson Howes accomplishments and successes, his family and friends always considered his greatest to be his kindness, if such a gift can be considered an accomplishment, since it came so naturally to him. As an inventor, visionary, and prospector, he was well acquainted with failure, but never had one of kindness. He made his grandchildren feel safe.
He was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ and the American Legion.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brothers Otis Dexter Howe, II, Samuel James Howe, sisters Alice Herrick Howe and Abigail Crawford.
Surviving are his wife Ruth of Longmont, daughter Laurie Flanders and her husband John; Margaret Bauer and her husband Dan, both of Longmont; a son Thomas Howe of Broomfield; five grandchildren: Katie Gaddis and her husband Chris, Phil Schell, Rachel, Emma and Thomas Bauer, all of Longmont; and two great-grandchildren, Aiden and Cole Gaddis of Longmont.
A cremation has been entrusted to the Howe Mortuary and Crematory.
Services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, September 22 at the Howe Mortuary Chapel, with Reverend George Worcester, First United Church of Christ, officiating.
Contributions may be made to the the Hospice of Boulder County or the First Congregational U.C.C. of Longmont.