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Joseph Stanislaus "The Cat" Howanski


1927 - 2012 | Obituary Condolences
Joseph Stanislaus "The Cat" Howanski Obituary
Lifelong resident of Ridley Township
Joseph Stanislaus Howanski was born on September 8, 1927 and died on December 22, 2012 at Crozer-Keystone Hospice at Taylor.
He attended St. Rose of Lima Elementary School and then Ridley Township High School (class of '46), where he played football, basketball, and baseball.
While he was a standout as a defensive specialist in basketball and an accomplished catcher in baseball his athletic prowess was established as a football player. He excelled on both sides of the ball: on offense as a center and as a linebacker on defense. He took special pride in mastering the art of long-snapping for both punters and kickers. His career was honored when he was inducted into the Delco Hall of Fame for football.
While sports was his passion, circumstances dictated that he caddy at Springhaven and Swarthmore C.C.s , unloaded railcars of cement bags at Fizzano Bros. to get ready for the next football season, and worked in the machine shops of Baldwin Locomotive Works during his high school years where the production was dedicated to making armaments for W.W. II.
He went on to play for Malvern Prep before accepting a scholarship to Villanova where he played football for the nationally ranked Wildcats from 1947-1951 and played against the best teams of that era including National Champion Army. At Villanova he again played center, linebacker, and long-snapper, facing many of the best collegiate players on the gridiron. He graduated from Villanova in 1951 with a B.A. in history.
He married Rose Marie Terry in June of 1950. After graduating from Villanova, he joined Ford Motor Company in Chester as a line foreman where he helped bring the 1957 Ford Fairlaine 500 Skyliner (world's first hard top convertible) into production. He opened a take-out chicken and seafood business in 1961 on Long Beach Island, N.J. named Mrs. Terry's Kitchen, which for many years produced world famous roasted chicken.
In 1965, he joined the faculty of St. James High School as a history teacher and became one of the schools all-time best football coaches. Behind Joe's direction of the linemen, St. James enjoyed some of their greatest football success. Several of his players went on to major college football programs and some to the Pros. All of his players became better men having known him – and he made sure they knew who he was, what he stood for, and what he expected of them.
In 1982, he rejoined the Ridley Township football program, this time as a coach. He was instrumental in developing outstanding linemen at Ridley as well. He played a significant role in the tradition of excellence for the nationally recognized football program at Ridley. Under Phil Marion and Art Raimo from 1942-1946 he developed as a player and then became an integral part of Joe McNicholas' legendary coaching staff from 1982-1996.
He spent most of his weekends at Long Beach Island. He enjoyed holidays with his family. After retiring from the sidelines, he enjoyed watching sports on T.V. and often coached from his armchair.
Joe was husband of the late Rose Marie Terry Howanski, and brother of the late John W. Howanski and Anne E. Howanski.
Family: His sister Mary Howanski Retzback (late Edward);his beloved companion Theresa Pustola; his sister-in-law Betty Howanski; also nine nephews, three nieces; 34 grand nieces and nephews; and 14 great-grand nieces and nephews.
Funeral Mass: Noon Friday at Our Lady of Peace R.C. Church, 208 Milmont Ave., Milmont Park, PA 19033. Visitation: 6 to 9 PM Thursday and 10:15 to 11:15 AM Friday at the White-Luttrell Funeral Home, 311 N. Swarthmore Ave., Ridley Park. Burial: SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery.
Memorial Gifts: To the Father Rees Fund, c/o the above church. Online Condolences: www.whiteluttrell.com
Published in Daily Times on Dec. 26, 2012
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