On Sept. 1, 2017, David Lorn Howard (Ol’ #84) peacefully passed away at Maple Ridge Care Center in Spooner, Wis. Later that day, he assumed his seat on the 50 yard line at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison to watch his beloved Wisconsin Badgers open the college football season, and certainly had a hand in the Badger’s impressive come-from-behind victory. He was 82 years of age.
Mr. Howard was born on May 1, 1935, to Lorn Charles Howard (Buck) and Marguerite Helen Jarvis Howard (Mugs) in Eau Claire, Wis. He grew up in Mondovi, and enjoyed the family cottage on Lake Pepin and hunting camp in Ladysmith, with all the outdoor opportunities these provided. He spent countless hours driving the back roads, trails, and logging roads of Northern Wisconsin in an old red Willys jeep (or any other vehicle that was running at the time) in quest of the elusive partridge!
Like his father, who was a football letterman at Indiana, and uncle, Lynn “Tubby” Howard (also a letterman at Indiana and a member of the original Green Bay Packers from 1921-1922), Dave loved sports, especially football. He was a three-sport letterman at Mondovi High School. Number 84 was a three-time letterwinner in football as an offensive and defensive end for the Wisconsin Badgers, graduating in 1957. He set a school record that stood for 50 years with three touchdown receptions in one game. He came up one vote shy of being named captain of the 1956 team (he voted for close friend and eventual captain Pat Levenhagen). In his senior year, Dave was the football team MVP, and the male all-university Athlete of the Year. He was named National Lineman of the Week, and selected for the Coaches All-American football team. He played one season for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Dave was called for military service in 1958, and served as a Military Police Officer at Fort Eustis, Va.
In 1959, he married Mary Janet Robison, of Norfolk, Virginia. After his discharge from the Army, they returned to Mondovi, where he worked for his father as an insurance agent. He and a partner later purchased the business, forming the Howard and LaDuke Insurance Agency.
In 1966, the family, now with three young children, moved to West Bend, Wis. He worked in the insurance department of the Ziegler Company, a nationwide financial institution. He opened his own insurance agency in West Bend in 1976, which he operated until retiring in 1986.
Dave loved to drive the back roads through the Kettle Moraine area of southeastern Wisconsin, to Horicon to see the geese migration, to every Badger game he could get to, to his camps, and to go visit with his family, where he never failed to tell them how proud he was of them. Wherever he was, he loved to go to the local haunts that had live music so he could sing and dance. Lordy he loved to dance!! Dancing was his passion.
Mr. Howard fought a courageous, long-time battle with cancer, losing a kidney in 1986 and suffering a brain tumor in 2000, but his death was not directly due to the disease.His last three years were spent at Maple Ridge Care Center, where with an extremely positive attitude he took great pleasure in walking the halls in order to ‘fist-bump’ the residents and all the staff that he had learned to love, and who took such terrific care of him.
Mr. Howard was a lifelong member of the Buffalo River Masonic Lodge in Mondovi.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Buck and Mugs Howard; his sisters, Barbara Paton (Jack) and Sally Gorsegnor (Everett).
He is survived by his children, Steve Howard (Terra), Carol Dombeck (Mark), Mary Kirschbaum; cherished grandchildren, Alex Howard, Brian Dombeck (Savannah), Kevin Howard, Jessica Dombeck, Tim Howard, Jay Kirschbaum, Jenna Kirschbaum; nieces amd nephews; ex-wife, Mary Howard; dancing partner, Sharon Heckman; countless friends.
Mr. Howard was buried in the family plot at Oak Park Cemetery, Mondovi. Memorials may be made in his name to the charity of your choice.
His clever conversation, wit, humor, and love will be intensely missed.
Kjentvet-Smith Funeral Home, Mondovi, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.kjentvet-smithfuneralhome.com.