Howard, son of Michael P. and Anna Elizabeth (Lingwall) Peetz, was born in Sidney, Nebraska at the Roche Hospital March 2, 1929. He attended St. Patrick's schools, graduating from St. Patrick's Catholic High School May 23, 1946. His early years included 12 years of piano schooling, 11 years of music theory training and 11 years of playing the trumpet. His first formal job began June the 1st 1946 where Howard, at the age of 16, signed a contract with Claude Thornhill at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. He earned $4.00/hr. for 4 hours of play each night and $3.00/hr. for 3 hours of practice each day. The contract ended September 1st of 1946 and started a diverse career.
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On his return to Sidney via Union Pacific passenger train, he was unable to find a job so he moved to Green River, Wyoming where he lived with a cousin, Catherine Hoff. There he worked as a rodman for Western Geophysical exploring for oil. He returned home to Sidney in March, 1948 and again unable to find a job, enlisted in the Army Air Corps out of North Platte, Nebraska on April 6, 1948. He spent 13 weeks in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and 26 weeks training as a photographer at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado. As a first assignment he was shipped to Anchorage, Alaska on the General Patrick out of San Francisco where he spent 3 years. He was honorably discharged on April 6, 1952.
Howard worked as a switchman on the Union Pacific Railroad in Sidney, Nebraska for 2 years then moved to Scottsbluff, Nebraska where he sold insurance for Mutual of Omaha for 5 years. After a move to Pocatello, Idaho he continued to sell insurance for Banker's Life and Casualty and traded sheep in his spare time. This turned into a full-time job with a band of 12,000 ewes by 1968. He later sold this business to Jack Simplot and made another move to Denver, Colorado where he began a prolific lumber business supplying Joy Manufacturing with crating lumber for 25 years. This initiated a real estate business and the development of Launch Pad Estates in Peyton, Colorado. In 2000, he returned to the insurance business as a general agent for various agencies and this continued through 2012.
He was married to Darlene May Engleman on September 16, 1950 and they were married for 62 years and raised 3 children: Michael Patrick Peetz, Jodene Ann Peetz, and William Howard Peetz.
Howard is preceded in death by his daughter Jodene, and his wife Darlene. Howard joined his loving wife on March 2, 2014.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Friday at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. A Rosary service will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at St. Dominic Catholic Church, 5354 South Highway 85/87, Security, Colorado. Private interment will be on Monday at Evergreen Cemetery.
Published in The Gazette on Mar. 5, 2014