John R. Howland (1939-2011)

Jack Howland, 72, passed away peacefully with his wife and son beside him on Monday September 12, 2011, at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine. He was born in Dover, New Hampshire on January 5th, 1939, the son of the late John C. and Dorothea Hurn Howland. He grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and was a graduate of Haverhill High School, class of 1956. After high school Jack entered the Navy, and served on the USS Plymouth Rock for three years.

He worked in the meat business for all of his working life, working for First National Stores and Hannaford. He ended his career as Meat Manager for the Waldoboro Hannaford.

Jack met his wife Carole in 1970 when they lived in Boston. After a year’s courtship they were engaged and married on Cape Cod in 1973. In 1976 they tired of the city life and moved to Maine, a place with which they felt a connection.

In Maine, his community life was filled with many interests. He rose to be the Commander of the VWF post in Waldoboro, served as pack committee chairman for the Boy Scouts, was on the board of the Friendship Street School, ran blood drives for the Red Cross as well as being an active participant in local theater productions.

He was an avid gardener for many years, and took particular pride in his bountiful garden. After his retirement, Jack took up bird carving, and filled his kitchen with many different kinds of birds. He was also a life-long learner, and was always looking for the next good book.

His Mayflower heritage was something that he was immensely proud of. He served as Historian and Archivist for the Pilgrim John Howland Society for many years. This role allowed him to communicate with fellow descendants from across the country and around the world. Jack was also Captain of the Maine Mayflower Society. Annual trips to Plymouth were something that he always enjoyed. He took particular pleasure in recreating the journey of his ancestor John Howland back to Plymouth in 2003 aboard the shallop Elizabeth Tilley. In 2010 he was awarded the Lura Sellew Medal, the highest honor that the Pilgrim John Howland Society bestows for service to the organization and the memory of the pilgrim John Howland.

Jack is survived by his wife and best friend Carole and his son Teddy of Somerville, Massachusetts; brother Edvill and wife Suzie of Turner, Maine; sister Carolyn Comeau of Merrimack, Massachusetts; sister Dorinda Judson and husband Bill of Plaistow, New Hampshire; and several nieces and nephews. Their family was one of joyful celebrations, honest conversations and a loving home.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Jack’s memory may be made to the Pilgrim John Howland Society, 121 School Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824.