BARRY, Ill. -- Raymond C. Howard, 81, noted creator of consumer products and packaging, died of cancer on Saturday (Oct. 26, 2013) in Naples, Fla.
During his career, Ray developed and designed deodorant soap (Dial Soap), the Big G brand mark of General Mills, the first microwave oven (Amana Radar Range), the first rectilinear refrigerator (Amana), the first branded bouquet (FTD's LoveBundle), Blooming Colors by Maybelline, Lemon-Up shampoo, the first Medicare gap-filler insurance (Golden 65), the Dodge Neon, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chrysler PT Cruiser.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Feb. 15, 1932, Ray attended public schools while earning money delivering papers and caddying at the Oakwood Country Club. He graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and entered Northwestern University
where he joined Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Ray graduated with a major in economics and a minor in Soviet Studies. He also attended the Russian immersion program at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was awarded a fellowship to Columbia University.
Upon graduation, Ray married Betty Guinter of Chicago and embarked on a summer sales job for Kimberly-Clark's consumer products division. He fell in love with sales and marketing as he moved among Chicago, Detroit and Houston. Having turned down his Columbia fellowship, he lost his deferment and was drafted into the Army. After training for the Adjutant General Corps, Ray spent two years at Camp Fuji, Japan, where he was chief instructor, Armed Forces Institute, teaching college courses to officers who lacked adequate college training.
During World War II he was an air raid messenger, wearing a big white helmet and trained in first aid.
Back in Chicago, Ray joined the design department of Container Corporation of America where he developed major products and packages for clients in the USA and Europe.
After seven years, Ray left packaging to join Post-Keyes-Gardner Advertising Agency in Chicago as marketing director. He rose to executive vice president supervising Maybelline, Old Milwaukee Beer, Florist Transworld Delivery, Continental Casualty, Gillette toiletries, Pine-Sol, Santa Fe and others.
Leaving the world of advertising 10 years later, he wrote a business column for the Chicago Sun-Times which was later syndicated by the New York News-Chicago Tribune organization. Ray moved to New York after his divorce in 1974.
He met Barbara Bethard Lorenz a year later at a church service at the United Nations Chapel. They were married in the UN Chapel the next year with a reception in the UN office building at UN Plaza.
Leaving journalism, Ray joined Brooks International where he supervised the marketing and client analysis departments. In 1981, Ray brought in 60 percent of the business but received only six percent of the bonus money. He immediately decided to form his own company.
Howard International was firmly established in Westport, Conn., in 1982 with projects from three former clients. As the firm prospered, Barbara joined Howard International in 1985 and ran the office since Ray was spending most of his time on the road.
In 1989, Howard International established a second office in Naples. The advent of the electronic era made it possible to generate and execute projects from almost anywhere in the country. Before email, Ray would create materials in Naples which would be sent by modem to Westport for editing and then sent on to the client in Chicago (or wherever). Soon clients were insisting on having meetings ay HI in Naples during the winters.
Ray sold the business and retired in 1999, living in Naples, Weston, Conn., and Barry, Ill.
During the new millennium, Ray used his creative talents to publish articles and cartoons about world economic affairs on his website which can be reached at www.unclewisdom.com
He was a member of the Naples Council on World Affairs and of the North Naples United Methodist Church.
Ray is survived by his wife Barbara, formerly of Barry; his son, Bryan Howard; his daughter, Cheryl Lothian; three grandchildren, and a stepdaughter, Tonia Lorenz.
He was preceded in death his son, David.
SERVICES:12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, memorial service will be held in the chapel at the North Naples (Fla.) United Methodist Church with internment in the church's Memorial Garden. MEMORIALS: North Naples United Methodist Church or to a