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Howard Lloyd McCarthy, age 76, of Titusville, FL, was released from his earthly bonds on June 26, 2013. He passed peacefully surrounded by family, his caregivers, and attended by Hospice of St. Francis.
Howard was born in Chicago, IL, and lived in Idaho as a boy. In his adult life, he lived in Southern CA; Crabapple, GA; Montpelier, VT; Tampa, FL; San Francisco, CA; Lakeport, CA; and Titusville, FL.
Howard was diagnosed in 2001 with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) and beat all odds with his positive attitude. He died unexpectedly from complications after surgery. He donated his body to further the search for a cure.
Howard was a graduate of the Cal State, Long Beach. He was an Airman 1st Class, serving as an intelligence officer in Tripoli and Tarbarx (Kirknewton RAF), Scotland where he met his wife of 55 years. His career started as a real estate researcher in Los Angeles; progressed to real estate investments for National Life of Vermont and ended with his serving as President/CEO of his own industrial real estate company, Starboard Investments.
Upon his retirement, he pursued his interest in spoken language, earning diplomas from Moscow University and Beijing Language Institute. He made lifelong friends of the Hu family of Yinchuan and the Gao family of Beijing. He was an actor on Chinese television, where he was a celebrity. He enjoyed political debate with his brother, Michael and his childhood and longtime friend, Roy Lofquist. He also was a Peace Corp volunteer in Odessa, Ukraine.
Howard is survived by his wife, Helen McKenzie (Smith); brother, Michael and Matilda of Austin, TX; his daughter, Denise and States Finley of Stone Mountain, GA; daughter, Alison and Bill Curtis of Titusville, FL; son, Stuart and Linda of Mt. Vernon, WA. The McCarthy's have eight grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his mother, Edith Carmody (Detroit); father, Lloyd Byrd McCarthy/Penland (Fresno); and his sister, Patricia (Napa).
The family will receive friends at the McCarthy residence in Titusville, July 13th from 1pm til 4pm. He will be interred with military honors in the Byrd family plot in Sanger, CA, where plans for a graveside committal are being arranged.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the ALS Association, the Red Cross, or Kiva.org.
The Brevard ALS support group and the VA were of particular support and a source of strength for Howard, his family, and caregivers. Anyone wishing to share a memory, send the family a message or make a donation to the ALS association is directed to Howard's Tribute page link at www.web.alsa.org
A digital guest book is also available for friends at www.northbrevardfuneralhome.com.
Howard trusted in the goodness of others and never met a stranger.
He was playful, brilliant, generous, and strong-willed.
He lived every day to the fullest and was very active until the very end.
Howard was a world traveler and lover of life.
He has embarked on his greatest adventure of all. Bon Voyage.
North Brevard Funeral Home
1450 Norwood Avenue Titusville, FL 32796
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from July 5 to July 10, 2013