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Michael Howard

Died: Tue., Mar. 19, 2019

No services to be held

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Michael (Mike) John Howard – September 28, 1950 - March 19, 2019

Michael Howard, 68, passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Mike grew up in the Puyallup valley on a rural road surrounded by berry farms and cow pastures. His father, John Henry Howard, worked at McChord AFB as an airplane mechanic, his mother a home maker, later working as warehouse man for West Coast Grocery.

Mikes childhood was a whirlwind of young boy activities, but most of all he loved fishing; lake, stream, river…it did not matter. If it involved fishing, Mike was there. He often worked in local berry fields picking berries, and on the local milk farm, milking cows. Later as a young adult, he delivered newspapers for the Tacoma News Tribune; using his bicycle to deliver the longest route in the valley area.

Mike attended Puyallup High School until his enlistment in the US Army in 1968, where he found his new home as a rifleman. His first Tour of Duty was in Germany driving deuce and a half trucks, later volunteering for service in Vietnam where he was awarded a Bronze Star before losing both his legs in combat and returning to civilian life.  

His heroism continued on into his later life, and he was awarded a “citizen of the year” award for stopping a roadside assault; saving a stranger’s life.

Later in life, Mike took a job with The Marksman gun shop in Tacoma. He was at home there as his love for hunting, shooting, and reloading grew greater. After Mike left the Marksman, he enjoyed shooting of all sorts, long and short range at the Eatonville Gun Club where he was a member for years. Over time, Mike became quite the subject matter expert when it came to reloading ammunition. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do or figure out how to make. He loved other hobbies such as canning, smoking meats, making his own sausage and bacon (which he claimed to be the best around), and molding his own bullets. 

Mike moved to Idaho a few years prior to his death to be close to a friend, Jesse Johnston. Soon, they would become inseparable. Whether it was shooting, reloading, fishing, or doing work around Jesse’s ranch; Mike was there and living the best life he could. Spending time in the mountains or just driving around looking for coyotes to exterminate was the way Mike enjoyed the last of his days. Prior to his death he got to live out his dream of shooting wild hogs from a helicopter....36 to be exact. Mike never stopped living. He loved people. He loved tall, beautiful blonde women, and cold Coors beer. He touched the lives of so many he met and will be forever missed. 

He will always be remembered as a knowledgeable man, well opinionated, with the classic “heart of gold.”  Those who knew Mike loved him; those who did not missed out in the whirlwind of life that he created.

Mike is preceded in death by both his parents and he is survived by two brothers and two sisters. 

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