Ralph D. Howard
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Ralph D. Howard, 78
SOUTH PORTLAND -- Ralph D. Howard died at the age of 78 at the Maine Medical Center in Portland on Dec. 12, 2010, after a courageous 10 year battle with Parkinson 's disease and recent illness.
He was born on Oct. 12, 1932, in Mexico. Ralph attended local schools and was a 1950 graduate of Mexico High School where he played baseball and basketball. He attended the University of Maine in Orono and was a member of PHI ETA KAPPA.
He served in the United States Army from 1954-1956 stationed in Germany. He and his wife, Jane, were able to do some traveling when they lived there. He married Paula Jane Claypool in 1954. Ralph and Jane settled in South Portland where they would raise their five children.
Ralph worked at Blue Cross/Blue Shield for 33 years as a data processing operations director. Ralph was a 50 year member of the First Congregational Church in South Portland where he served as a deacon and an usher and was a member of the Eskimo's Men's Club. Ralph was president of South Portland National Little League Baseball and he started the girls SP National Little League softball program. He also coached in the South Portland Senior League Baseball League. Ralph was elected to the South Portland School Board and served for three and a half years, one of them as chairman. He also was elected to the South Portland City Council, serving for nine years, including three terms as mayor.
In his retirement years Ralph enjoyed working part time at Drillen Hardware where he loved meeting and talking to customers. He volunteered at Skillin School, South Portland High School, the Veteran's Home, Ronald McDonald House and Meals on Wheels.
Ralph always supported his children and then his grandchildren in all of their school, athletic and music activities, rarely missing an event. He loved to spend his summers with his family at his camp at Roxbury Pond where he would hike, fish, kayak and watch the eagles, moose and loons. He loved animals and always had a dog.
Ralph was a big fan of all the New England sports teams.
Ralph D. Howard
He enjoyed playing ping pong, wiffle ball, basketball, cribbage and bridge. As a proud Patriot, the American flag could be seen flying in front of his home. Most of all he loved being with his family and was proud of all of them. He felt blessed to have a close supportive family.
Ralph had a wonderful sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. Always a gentleman, he was honest, diplomatic, and loyal. His actions demonstrated a strong sense of community and service. He was a great supporter of South Portland athletics and school activities. Ralph was a man of few words, but what he said was meaningful and to the point. He will be greatly missed.
He was predeceased by his parents, Fred I. and Della (Thurston) Howard; and his brother, John. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Paula 'Jane' Howard of South Portland; four daughters, Brenda and her husband Warren Michaelsen of Yarmouth, Donna and her husband Harry D. Clark of South Portland, Pamela and her husband Jude Mulcahey of South Berwick and Beth and her husband Jeff Smith of Merrimac, Mass., and one son, Douglas and his wife Pam of South Portland. He adored his 15 grandchildren, Trevor and Peter Michaelsen, Ben and Tim Clark, Kate, Sarah and Jonathan Mulcahey, Kera, Ryan and Eric Howard, Abbie, Molly, Amanda, Joshua and Cameron Smith; and one great-grandchild, Jacobi. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Fred and Pat Howard of South Portland; and several nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at Hobbs Funeral Home, Cottage Road, in South Portland. A service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 16, at the First Congregational Church, Cottage Road, South Portland, at 11 a.m.
Memorial donations in Ralph's name can be made to:
The Maine Parkinson's Society
5 Bucknam Rd., Suite 1A
Falmouth, Maine 04105
South Portland High School
Dollars for Scholars
South Portland High School
637 Highland Ave.
South Portland, Maine 04106
or to a charity of your choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Dec. 14, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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19 entries
December 18, 2010
My sincere sympathy to the Howard family on Ralph's passing. He, indeed, was someone I looked up to in Phi Eta Kappa. I know that "Herb" will be very much missed. My prayers go out to you all.
Mert Robinson
December 18, 2010
I knew Ralph from many years back when we were fraternity brothers at U of M and he was a grand guy then.He and your family will be in my prayers.
Patrick Therriault
December 16, 2010
Dear Jane & family,
On behalf of the Alumni Board & the entire Brotherhood of Phi Eta Kappa, pleased accept our sincere condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Terry Grindle '77, Phi Eta Kappa Fraternity
December 16, 2010
Donna and family,

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a great man to many people and will be missed greatly. He made a huge impression in people's lives.
Cassie Peavey(Crockett)
December 16, 2010
Donna and family,
My condolences to you and your family. Your dad will be missed and remembered by many people that he touched and influenced in South Portland.
Pat Crockett
December 16, 2010
Ralph was a lifelong dear friend and he will be greatly missed. Jane and Family, Pauline and I send our heartfelt sympathy.
Stan & Pauline Carver
December 15, 2010
Donna, Beth, Brenda, Pam, Doug, their families, and of course, Jane. We are so sorry for the loss of your dad. He was such a wonderful man and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. We are honored to have known him. Our love and deepest sympathy to all.
Terry and Richard
Terry & Richard Incerto
December 15, 2010
So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers , Jessica Coburn Hall
Jessica Hall
December 15, 2010
I am very sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I have know Mr. Howard from my years of playing baseball at SPNLL and his interactions with my family. He left a wonderful legacy and will surely be missed.
Michael Michaud
December 14, 2010
Brenda and family,

Our family extends to you our deepest sympathy in this your time of sorrow. May God bless each of you today and in the days ahead.

Pam Hodsdon and family
Pamela Hodsdon
December 14, 2010
My deepest sympathies to Mrs.Howard, Brenda, the girls, Douglas and your families at the passing of your most wonderful father. I had the honor of babysitting at your home back in the '60's and was your playground coordinator for a few years. Your dad was the kind of dad we all wished we'd had. Always kind,caring,great sence of humor,could communicate with any age and a real gentleman. Thank you for sharing him with all of us and for supporting him in all the good he did for the community of South Portland. He is and was One Of A Kind!
Michele Danois
Michele Danois
December 14, 2010
Please extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Howard family. I worked with Ralph for 25 years at BCBS of Maine. During that time, I got to know Ralph very well. He was an outstanding businessman, who contributed much to BCBS's success. Ralph was a devoted family man and a good friend. He will be missed.
Ralph & Cathy Bean Jr
December 14, 2010
Our deepest sympathies to my big brother, Harry, his amazing wife, Donna, her wonderful mom, Jane and all of the Howards - Ralph was a remarkable man and you all gave him a joyful life. Much love in this time of sorrow.
Peter & Christine Racine
December 14, 2010
Brenda and Warren, I am soooo sorry to hear this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Bryce, Stacie and family
Stacie Johnston
December 14, 2010
Ralph was one of the kindest people I have ever met in my life. He was the epitome of honesty and was a model from which all men should be molded. I will never, ever forget the times that I spent working with him at the hardware store because he made the job bearable in times when it was not much fun. Ralph injected humor into almost any situation. I will miss him and think of him often. To his family, I offer my best wishes and be comforted by the fact that Ralph was a man who really made a difference. Once again, I will truly miss him. God Bless him and his family.
Reggie Conohan
December 14, 2010
My deepest condolences to all of Ralph's family. I truly enjoyed working for him at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He was the best boss I've ever had. You knew when he meant business; but we also shared many laughs. He was very proud of his family and enjoyed sharing stories with me. I'm pleased we were able to continue our friendship all these years. He was a wonderful man.

Louise Jones
December 14, 2010
I worked for Ralph at BC/BS many years ago. He was an inspiration with fond memories.
Janice Sargent Cail
December 14, 2010
Beth, your father gave me a lot of encouragement with baseball and many of life's lessons that meant a lot to a young boy. I will keep you and your family close to me in my prayers.
Scott Ayre
December 14, 2010
Dear Pam, Jude, Kate, Sarah and Jonathan and all of Ralph's family members,
We are so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. We want to offer our deepest condolences and please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Lee & Jeannie Petrie
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