Gene Howard, 89, Surrey, died Sunday, October 24, 2021 in his home. 

Gene was born on November 24, 1931 in Cherry Hill, AR, to Marion and Willie (Hess) Howard. He was raised and educated in Cherry Hill and Mena, AR, graduating from Mena High School in 1951. Gene didn’t waste any time before entering active service with the USAF on June 9, 1951 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was in the Air Force where Gene would remain for the next 26 years as a dedicated service man to his country, followed by twenty more years with the Civil Service. 

In the Air Force Gene lived in many places throughout the country and the world, it started with his basic training in Wichita Falls, TX, from there Gene was stationed at numerous bases which included East Texas State College (ETSC) Technical School; Korea; Eglin AFB, FL; Sidi Slimane AFB, Morocco; Travis AFB, CA; Chanute AFB, IL; Randolph AFB, TX; Vandenberg AFB, CA and lastly Minot AFB, ND. 

Through his service Gene held various positions with multiple squadrons. He was member of the Headquarters 3206th Test Op (Rg Supp) (APGC); 85th Air Transport Squadron (MATS); 395th Missile Squadron (SAC); 6595th Aerospace Test Wing (AFSC); 91st MIMS (SAC) and the 91 SMW (SAC). With Gene’s dedicated service came recognition that was shown through a great collection of medals and awards such as the Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 1959 Honor Graduate Hydraulics Course Chanute AFB 3357th, and countless others. 

It was the year of 1954 at the Eglin AFB, Florida, where Gene would meet his future wife Joan Helen Bourhill. The couple was married on July 22, 1955, at a Methodist church in Pascagoula, Mississippi. From this union four children were born, Kathleen, Michael, David, and Jeffery.

Gene’s life took him all over the world; places he called home were, Cherry Hill and Mena, AR, Lompoc, CA, Minot AFB and lastly Surrey, ND. 

Hobbies that Gene enjoyed in his free time were fishing with family and friends, hunting with his brothers and the family dog, Rowster, trail riding with Peaches and Rusty, and playing with Mokie. Gene loved being in and observing nature, he could often be found watching wildlife on his favorite webcams.  

Gene’s loving family includes his wife, Joan, Surrey; Daughter, Kathleen (Bob) Thisse, Fawn Grove, PA; Sons, Michael Howard, Nashville, TN, David (Barbara) Howard, Minot, ND, and Jeffery Howard, Surrey, ND; Grandchildren, Angela (Jason) McKinsey, Dallastown, PA, Anthony (Lori) Tiefenbrunn, Hamburg, PA, Chad Howard, Minot, ND, Jeremy (Monique) Howard, O’Fallon, IL, Raquel Howard, Glen Ullin, ND, Christopher (Krystal Andersen) Thisse, York, PA, Joel (Erin) Howard, Kennebunkport, ME, and Tyler (Zena) Howard, Saint Robert, MO; Great Grandchildren, Paige Helgeson, Oelrichs, SD, Ashley Baldwin, Butler, MO, Brooke Baldwin, Pittsburgh, PA, Brendyn McKinsey, Dallastown, PA, Alex McKinsey, Active Duty Army Fort Stewart, GA, Justin Tiefenbrunn, Hubbard, TX, Dorthea, Landon, and Anya Tiefenbrunn, Carlisle, PA, Megan and Morgan Marsh, Hamburg, PA, Parker Howard, Kennebunkport, ME, Avery, Tolkien, Emma, and Sterling Howard, O’Fallon, IL, Odyn Howard, Saint Robert, MO and Dagan Poole, Saint Robert, MO; Great-Great Grandchildren, Lynn, Grayson, and Emma Baldwin, Butler, MO, along with numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Curtis Howard, Frank Howard, Berniece Howard, Otis Howard, Everett Howard, Virgil Howard, and Twinkle Wilson.

A private burial with military honors will take place at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery of Mandan.


Share a Memory