Aug. 16, 1917 – Feb. 15, 2010
Leslie “Les” Howard, beloved husband of Beryl of Calgary, passed away on Monday, February 15, 2010 at the age of 92 years, with family by his side.
Leslie will be sadly missed by his beloved wife of 65 years, Beryl; his children, Pamela Park (Jim), John Howard, Judy Birkbeck and special son-in-law Tom Birkbeck; his grandchildren, Trevor Park, Allison Park and Neal Park; his “little sister”, Eve Garner; numerous nieces and nephews throughout England and Australia; and his furry pals, Winston and Paisley.
He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Ada; and his siblings, Kit, Vincent, Pat, Dorrie, and Margaret.
Dad was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England into a large and happy family. He began his military career in 1933, enrolling in the Army Technical School (Boys Service) in Chepstow, England. In 1935 he began his service as a Royal Engineer, taking his recruit training in Chatham in 1936.
In the fall of 1937 he was posted to Trincomalee, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He spent the early war years there on searchlight batteries before returning to England in 1943. After spending the next couple of years in Chatham, Troon (Scotland), Halifax and Gillingham, he was posted to Egypt in 1947. Postings to Palestine, Greece and Chatham followed, after which he and his family embarked for Canada on an exchange posting in 1954.
After over two years at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at CFB Chilliwack (B.C.) he returned to England in 1957, then transferred from the British to the Canadian Army, returning to the CFSME again within six months. With the exception of two years on Instructional Staff in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1960-1962, the rest of his military career was spent at the CFSME teaching bridging and mine warfare. During this time he was called on several times to defuse bombs or dispose of unstable explosives, at risk to his life. In 1969 he was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration, and on his 52nd birthday ended thirty-six years of military service.
Following his retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces, Dad then embarked on a second career as a mortgage administrator with The Permanent, now TD Canada Trust. Following that, Dad became the administrator for the RAAP program for the City of Chilliwack.
Dad enjoyed many activities in his retirement years, including several cruises and trips to Reno and Las Vegas with Beryl. He was also a very active member of the Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Society for many years. Dad’s other love was computers and he acquired his first one at the age of 75. Several computers later, Dad treated himself to a 24 inch screen Mac in 2009! He was also an advocate of doing Sudoku and crosswords puzzles daily.
Following Beryl’s illness, Mum and Dad moved to Calgary in 2008 to be nearer to Tom and Judy, with Mum moving into the Beverly Centre Glenmore and Dad living with Tom and Judy. Dad enjoyed his time in Calgary immensely and appointed himself as maker of the tea.
We love you and we’ll miss you Dad!
A Private Celebration of Les’ Life will be held at the Beverly Centre Glenmore (1729 90 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB) on Thursday, March 4, 2010. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 – 14th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549, www.heartandstroke.ca, or the Beverly Centre Glenmore (Beverly Auxiliary), 1729 90 Avenue S.W. Calgary, AB T2V 4S1 Telephone: (403) 253-8806, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
In living memory of Les Howard, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6 Telephone: 1-800-661-1599.