Dr Howard passed away peacefully at 93 years of age on 19 August 2015 in Victoria, with family at his bedside. Dr Howard (“Red”) survived his much beloved wife, Helen, by 16 years. Red loved his humble rural roots; he was the youngest son of pioneer Saskatchewan homesteaders Margret and William Howard of Harris. Red finished his medical training in Toronto (MD, 1948) and the Mayo Clinic (1953–1954). He proudly trained with Dr Philip Hench, who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1950 for the discovery of cortisol. Dr Howard returned to Canada for further clinical training, obtaining his FRCPC in 1955, and practised in Calgary as one of Western Canada’s first rheumatologists. He founded the first rheumatic disease unit in Calgary at Calgary General Hospital in 1955. Dr Howard was also a founding physician of the University of Calgary (Cumming) School of Medicine, which I proudly attended (MD, 1985).
Red was renowned for his wit and wicked sense of humor, his devotion to his family and his patients, and his never-ending admiration and love for his wife of 50 years, Helen. In 1983 Red and Helen retired to Victoria, where he continued to practise medicine part time for another decade. Red and Helen loved being surrounded by their children and grandchildren on the Island. He was a respected colleague, an outstanding diagnostician, and a mentor and friend to many doctors and nurses throughout his long career. His legacy continues in those who have chosen to follow in his footsteps.
Dr Howard will be greatly missed by his children, Dave (Laura), Catharine (Doug), Charlotte, Bill (Jennifer), Bob (Heather), Gord, and Margaret (Bruce); his five grandchildren, James (Lisa), Allison, Kory, Lindsay, and Katelyn; and his many nieces and nephews in Canada and overseas.
At Dr Howard’s request there will be no public funeral. Dr Howard’s ashes will be laid to rest with Helen’s in Royal Oak Burial Park in Saanich.
—Catharine Dewar, MD
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