NORTHAMPTON - Prominent Northampton attorney John "J.B." Howard, 64, passed away suddenly Jan. 22, 2013.
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John was born Feb. 3, 1948, in Northampton, the son of the late George H. Howard and Eleanor May (Brown) Howard of Easthampton.
Originally from Hatfield, J.B. grew up in Easthampton, attended local schools and graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1966. He continued his college education at Dartmouth College where he received his bachelor degree in 1970, and later received his law degree in 1975 from Boston College Law School.
J.B. practiced law at his Northampton office for 37 years. He was a thoughtful, trusted adviser and counselor to his many clients. J.B. prided himself with his very personal attention and innate ability to explain the complexities of the law in plain English to each and every one of his clients. J.B. was honored as the Hampshire County recipient of the 2007 Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award.
As a longtime resident of Chesterfield, he served as Chesterfield's town moderator for 31 years, and as master of ceremonies for the Chesterfield's Fourth of July Parade. He was also a former volunteer Chesterfield firefighter and founding member of Hilltown Mountain Rescue Group.
J.B.'s lifelong passion was Damon Pond. He served as president, clerk and on many committees for the care of the pond and the Lake Damon Corp. He worked both physically and with his legal skills to preserve the place he considered paradise.
JB had a big love for people. He especially liked spending time with his many friends, spinning witty yarns and breaking into impromptu songs.
J.B. was an avid outdoors and travel enthusiast known for his enjoyment of swimming, bicycling, hiking, skiing and rugby. He was a world traveler, sharing those experiences with the love of his life, Susie. J.B. was a 1974 founding member of the Mystic River Rugby Club and continued as one of the Mystic Old Boys players and toured with the club to Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Wales. J.B. also played rugby with Dartmouth Rugby Club, Springfield Rugby Club and Northampton Rugby Club.
He leaves behind his beloved wife and best friend of 24 years, Sue Anne Heffernan; his mother, Eleanor Howard of Easthampton, and Hunter, his dog. He also leaves his brother Neal Howard of Southampton; sisters, Jane Howard of Bozeman, Mont., and Susan Farland of Sunapee, N.H.; and the following nieces and nephews, Ann Sarafin, Lisa Rice and Laurie Boudreau, all of Southampton, Sage Miller of Kuna, Idaho, Anya Farland of Montpelier, Vt., and Meredith Groshart of Denver, Colo.; as well as Jodi Coher of Newburgh, Ind., Adam Heffernan of Dallas, Texas, Hal Heffernan of Little Elm, Texas, Mike Morgan of Sante Fe, Texas, Anna Heffernan of Madison, Wisc., Christie Clenny of Midlothain, Texas, and Tre Lents, of Broken Arrow, Okla. He also leaves a goddaughter Elizabeth B. Oborne of Millbury.
As a truly extraordinary, thoughtful and warm person, he leaves behind many memories and will be forever fondly loved and missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the J.B. Howard Memorial Fund, for the care and preservation of Damon Pond. Donations to this fund can be sent to LDC - JB Howard Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 240, Chesterfield, MA 01012.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Log Cabin in Easthampton from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2012. Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton is in charge.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 25, 2013