Obituary of Neil Howard
Neil Erin Howard, 85, passed away due to complications of a stroke on Sunday, December 16, 2018, surrounded by family at a local hospital in Boise, Idaho. Neil was born Oct. 24, 1933 to Mary Ellen Jensen Howard in a log cabin in Huntington, UT. Growing up Neil loved sports and excelled at them. When he was 12, a football accident became part of a prolonged injury. This time of challenge helped Neil develop a creativity and perseverance that shaped his whole life. He also developed a love of reading that became a life-long source of joy. He still played sports despite his injury.
He graduated from Carbon High School. By 19 he had graduated from Heneger’s School of Business and agreed to teach for them.
In 1953 he moved to CA and married Emma Jean Pratt in 1955 and started their family in Baldwin Park, CA. They had 4 children, Dave Erin, Lance Neil, Deslynn Jean and Corrie Dawn. In 1957 he began working with Ettie Lee Homes and for over 6 years he and Jean were parents to over 100 boys. In the meantime Neil completed a degree in Business. In 1962 he was appointed Executive Director of Ettie Lee Homes for Boys. He spent the next 11 years building the organization into the largest of its kind in the west with over 20 facilities for boys in 3 states. In 1974 Neil became Director of the Idaho Youth Ranch. His leadership and innovation brought national recognition to the organization. In 1980 he married Marilyn Bubb and enlarged his family with her 4 children. They were married 38 years during which they traveled extensively. He received the following recognitions: Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America and Scoutmaster for over 15 years. Elected to the Baldwin Park School Board. PTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Honored as a Distinguished Citizen by the Idaho Statesman. Elected President to both the National Association of Homes for Boys and National Homes for Children, also serving on their boards. Received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from University of Idaho. He loved coaching. One of his proudest achievements was winning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints All Church Basketball Tournament in 1969. He also loved horse racing and served as the President of the Idaho Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He and Lee Pearson were leading owners at Les Bois Park for 3 years. They also traveled to the Orient, Europe and many other places. Neil had been to 100 race tracks. Throughout his life he blended his love of sports and travel. He had been to all 50 states and 50 countries around the world to play golf, attend horse races and football games, basketball, baseball, and softball tournaments with his many friends and family. Just 6 weeks prior to his death he and Lee had returned from a cruise to Cuba.
Neil is survived by his wife, Marilyn of Boise, and 4 children, David (Angela) Howard of Vancouver, WA; Lance Howard of Idaho City; Deslynn (Dave) Mecham of Firth; Corrie (Rick) Munson of Caldwell; 4 stepchildren Kellie (Dave) Durgan of Spokane, WA; Christine (Michael) Bubb of Boise; Karen (Robert) Bubb of Boise; Shawn (Lynn) Bubb of Helena, MT; and 3 sisters, Pauline Dunn of Reno, NV; Sylvia (Glenn) Nelson of Huntington, UT and Nancy (Steve) Espanet of Huntington, UT. He had 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren whom he loved so much.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4pm at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Center, 516 South 9th St., Boise, ID. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in his name to your favorite charity. Condolences may be sent to Summers Funeral Home firstname.lastname@example.org.