Capt. James Willoughby Howard

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Annapolis, MD – Capt. James Willoughby Howard, USN retired, 72, of Annapolis, MD, died on October 12, 2012.
Capt. Howard was born in Blanchard, OK, the son of the late Lowell and Ruth Howard, and was a 1958 graduate of Bartlesville High School. Graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1962, he entered the Navy through the Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating in the spring of 1963. He was designated a surface warfare officer. He earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA in 1970.
He earned the Command Ashore designation as the Program Manager of the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system. He served at sea on the USS Blandy (DD-943) and USS Topeka (CL-67) including two tours in Vietnam. He attended Destroyer School and served a tour on the staff of Commanding Officer, 1st Fleet. He also served in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and helped oversee the construction and commissioning of the Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigate (FFG-7) at Bath Iron Works, Brunswick, ME. He retired from the Navy on 1 February 1992. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", two Meritorious Service Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, two National Defense Service Medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, three Vietnam Service Medals, and the Vietnam Gallantry Award.
Following his retirement from the Navy, Capt. Howard worked for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Columbia, MD. He spent every minute of his life post-retirement with his wife, Helen Fischer Howard, where they traveled, spent time with grandchildren, and relaxed together on their beloved back porch.
He was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 49 years; his brother and sister-in-law, Robert Lowell and Helen C. Howard of Houston, TX; his daughter, Larissa Howard Long, of Laurel, MD; his son, Michael James Howard of Ann Arbor, MI; their respective spouses, Richard Long and Christina Carey Howard; grandchildren, Michael James Howard, Jr., Catherine Maeve Howard, William Thomas Howard, and Gwyneth Larissa Long; and his brother's children, Diana, Deborah, and David and their families.
There will be a memorial service on Monday, 19 November 2012 at 1100, at Lasting Tributes Cremation & Funeral Care (814 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 410-897-4852). A reception to follow. Online condolences may be at
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675 ( or to Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001-5004 (
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Nov. 11 to Dec. 11, 2012
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