A funeral service was held Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Langdon for Gerald R. Howatt, age 88, of Langdon.
Posted on 6/17/16
He died suddenly at his home on June 7, 2016.
Interment at Lebanon Cemetery.
Gerald Raymond Howatt was born on October 22, 1927 to William Raymond and Veda (Johnston) Howatt at their home in Maida. He was the eldest of six children. His father passed away at an early age leaving 10-year-old Gerald to accept the responsibility of helping to provide for his family. In 1942, when he was 15, they faced yet another hardship. He and his mother came home to find their home destroyed by fire. Although distraught, they rebuilt their house/farm with faith, determination, and hard work. He had many responsibilities, one of these being his mother’s mentor on driving skills. Apparently it was common practice for he to get the car going, put it in gear, then jump out and let her go! Veda, he, and his siblings were able to persevere through trying times with their deep faith in God and strong family bond. He was educated at the Maida School until the eighth grade. At that time, he left school to devote all of his time to managing the farm. He wanted to continue his education but providing for his family became his priority. In 1948 and at age18, he proudly enlisted in the Air Force. He served his country for 4 years during the Korean War. It was also during this time that he earned his high school diploma. Later in life, he greatly enjoyed reminiscing and telling his family stories from his service time. Shortly after returning home, his sister, Marlene, introduced him to Phyllis Welsh. It was clear to all that they had an instant connection! After dating for two years, they were united in marriage at the Stilwell Church on June 25, 1954. Moving 13 miles north of Langdon, they made their home and started farming. They were blessed with four children: Van, Ray, Lori, and Cori. This marriage was a perfect match, and Phyllis was his true love. He was a dedicated farmer. He loved to farm and did so his whole life. Church was an important aspect of his life. He regularly attended services and especially enjoyed the fellowship afterwards. He had a knack with words and a wonderful laugh. He was a master at socializing. He could sit down next to anyone, and before you knew it, he was deep in conversation. He was an avid exerciser. Early in life he taught all his children to water-ski and snow ski. Until recently he was still putting in his laps at the track. He found great enjoyment cruising around town in his Mercedes, but you usually saw him in his pickup heading to the farm. The last few years, coffee time was a daily event he wouldn’t miss. At 3:00 p.m. this social group could be found at Stein Auto Body. Discussions were lively as they solved the world’s problems. He was passionate about politics and certainly wasn’t shy about sharing his views! Family was very important to him as he thoroughly enjoyed family gatherings and his grandchildrens’ activities. He was always encouraging his grandchildren and wanted to know what they were accomplishing. (No slacking allowed!) He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Survived by: Wife, Phyllis Howatt; sons: Van (Lisa), Ray (Wanda); daughters Lori (Cregg) Stein, Cori (Tim) Dvorak. Siblings: Erle (Thelma) Howatt, Bernice (Jack) Fox, Stanley (Leona) Howatt, Marlene Landry, Margaret-Ann Downs. Brothers- in- law: Lloyd (Shirley) Welsh, Leslie (Eileen) Welsh. Grandchildren: Leah, Nathan, and Autumn Howatt, Tahnee (Nick) Magnus, Justine Stremick, Briana (Brad) Fisk, Tiffany Stremick; Jayla (Ethen)Askvig, Jaime (Brett) Zeis; Erika and Mercedes Stein; Derrick, Jess, and David Suda, Nicholas, Samantha, and Kayla Dvorak. Great-Grandchildren: Dyson and Terner Askvig, Beckem Zeis, Nicholas Magnus, Qwynn and Owen Kuchera. Numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
Preceded in death by: parents, and brothers-in-law Ronald Downs and Harry Landry
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Langdon Area Schools, the Presbyterian radio ministry, United Methodist Church or Emmanuel Evangelical Church.
Brooks Funeral Home of Langdon was in charge of arrangements. Condolences are available at www.brooksfuneralhomelangdon.com.