Bruce Lee Howard died peacefully on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law in Woodstock, CT. He was 86. Dad was born on July 23, 1935, along with his identical twin, Bradley, who predeceased him. The Howard twins grew up in Killingly, CT, and were stars both in the classroom and on the playing fields at Killingly High School. Dad was class president and Uncle Brad class secretary, and they were prolific athletes who co-captained the undefeated Killingly High School football team in the fall of 1952. They attended Northfield Mount Hermon School as post-graduates the following year, achieving further success in academics and athletics. While there, they were recruited to attend Columbia University and did so for four years. In the New York papers, their football achievements were frequently written about by the likes of Red Smith and many others.
During his time attending college, Dad met and fell in love with his bride for life, Helen Hession, who lived in nearby Thompson, CT. They spent three years dating before eloping on Martha’s Vineyard on March 28, 1959. Following their marriage, they settled in Windham County, where they would live and raise their three sons, Bradley, Peter, and Thomas. Dad worked in sales for what was then known as C.E.M. in Danielson, which would later become Spirol International Corporation. After learning the ropes there, he left to become an independent manufacturer’s sales representative, beginning a career that would last the next 35 years as Vice President of Fastech, Inc. Bruce and Helen were known in the area for many years to host the best parties, Mom always seizing an opportunity to have a great time and get together with friends.
Mom, who died on September 17, 2020, was the love of Dad's life. The two of them barely ever left each other’s side for as long as they were together. Mom kept busy with an antiques business, Woodstock Hill Antiques, and raising three boys, while Dad was very successful with his own career. They lived locally for many years, only moving from Woodstock to Sarasota, Florida, in 2012. There they had as much fun as you might expect, joining the Sarasota Jazz Club and going out several nights a week to dance to live jazz music with their new group of friends. Anyone was invited at any time to come visit, and many friends and family members would oblige, hitting the beaches, and then going out and having still more fun with Mom and Dad.
In the spring of 2020, Dad began to have some health issues, which led Mom to want to get him back home with family. Mom had also had her share of health scares, twice beating cancer, and she felt too tired to handle everything herself, so they returned to Woodstock. Unfortunately, this was at the height of the pandemic, and the world at home and everywhere else was not the same. The summer of 2020 was very rough on them. Dad’s health was in decline and Mom was exhausted. On the night of September 14, Mom had a massive stroke while sleeping. She died three days later. Needless to say, Dad was heartbroken and, due to his own condition, confused. My wife, Heidi, and I moved him into our home on that day, and he stayed with us until his death. Our time with Dad was bittersweet. We shared great meals together, went for walks, and watched movies. As he always had, Dad enjoyed his time on the patio, sunbathing and reading The Boston Globe. But this time was made very complicated by the ongoing pandemic. We couldn’t invite guests or go out to dinner. But, although this was a great challenge, this time together brought us all even closer than we ever had been before, and it is a time that we would never trade for anything. We miss him and Mom terribly.
There will be no services. There will be a celebration of both Dad and Mom and their great life together in the near future.