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Charles Richard Howard, 90, of Kalispell, went on to his great reward on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, with his family at his side after a brief illness.
Charlie was born in Tampa, Florida, to William and Mildred (Clark) Howard on Feb. 24, 1929. The family eventually relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where he and his brothers William (older) and Thomas (younger) grew up and went to school. After high school he worked several jobs, including manning a soda fountain and working at a service station repairing and maintaining cars.
He was drafted into the Army and served in Korea stringing communication lines. When he was discharged he returned home and with the encouragement of a close family friend he enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he studied forestry and wildlife management. Upon graduation he took a job with the National Forest Service and headed west to Sandpoint, Idaho. Charlie loved the outdoors, the wildlife and the open expanse of the West. From Sandpoint he went on to Noxon, Montana, then to Spotted Bear.
It was on a trip to Virginia where he was introduced to Sheila Brown. They married and had two children, Paige and Michael, and eventually settled in Libby where he worked on the Kootenai National Forest. One of his greatest passions was fighting forest fires which he did every summer until his retirement in 1992. He liked to joke that he flunked retirement twice, going on to work with FEMA and again for the National Forest Service as a driver for fire crews.
Charlie later married his best friend Marilyn (Janausch) and together they rambled throughout the United States taking in the sights and making memories. They relocated to Kalispell to be closer to family and joined Epworth Methodist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother William, and his beloved Marilyn; and is survived by his children Paige (Amy) and Michael, his stepchildren Scott and Todd Dotson, and his grandchildren Emily Jensen, Matthew Howard, Nathen Howard and Brandon Werre.
His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at Epworth Methodist Church, Pastor Ken White presiding. There will be a luncheon after, provided by the church.
Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Charles and his family.