Eulogy for James Patrick Howard

Friday March 09, 2007

•  eulogies •  family •  James Patrick Howard • 

I want to thank everyone for coming today and last night. The number of people who came show how many people Dad touched in his life.

I want to also tell a quick story about Dad. One winter break, I was home from college and was packing my bag to head back. Mom was taking me to the airport and Dad was getting ready for work. I had purchased a pack of new socks and Dad asked if he could have a pair and said he would mail them back to me.

I threw him a pair and Mom and I left. That night, the wastewater treatment plant flooded and 60,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into one building. Dad waded through knee-deep untreated wastewater to hit the shut-off valve, saving the plant.

Dad called me in Maryland afterwards to say what happened and at the end of the story asked me, “Should I wash the socks before I send them back?”

The lesson we learn here is not about his humorous outlook on life, but that Dad was a giving man to everyone he met. And even in death, he continues to give so others may have a better life.