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HOWARD A. VAN VLECK JR.

HOWARD A. VAN VLECK JR. Obituary
VAN VLECK, Howard A. Jr. Passed peacefully in his home in Cambridge on May 20, 2018, with his daughters, Amanda and Christina, by his side. He was 76 years old and had suffered for several years from Lewy Body Dementia. Throughout his life and during his illness, Howard was surrounded with the warmth and kindness of beloved family and friends, giving the gift of their gentle presence for which he, himself, was so well known. Howard was born to Harriet (Betty) Tomlinson and Howard Van Vleck (Sr.) in 1941 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. After attending Montclair (Kimberly) Academy, Howard earned his bachelor's degree in physics from Williams College and his master's in architecture and civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1966, Howie and Lisa (Pollard) were married and served together in the Peace Corps in Chile from 1967-69. Returning to Cambridge, Howard worked with several architectural firms in Boston until he started his private practice designing local residential projects. He also volunteered extensively with local community organizations, including Just-A-Start, the Community Arts Center, and First Parish Church in Cambridge. Howie was a carpenter, gardener, and sailor – approaching all tasks with meticulous care, deep appreciation for the object of his attention, and always with his steady, calm nature. As a husband, dad, and grandpa he was the embodiment of patience and generosity. He chose a life path that allowed him to be truly present throughout his daughters' childhood – listening, noticing, and guiding them in his own quiet way. Howie was probably most at peace on the water, quietly dipping his oars in the bay and sailing the catboat with dear friends – reading the shifting winds and tides, and always watching the horizon for birds and maybe even a whale if it was a very lucky day. Howie was pre-deceased by his wife and best friend of 51 years, Lisa, in 2017; he is survived by his two daughters and their families Amanda Van Vleck & Benjamin Haavik of Somerville, and Christina Van Vleck & David Nydam of Lincoln and his two grandchildren, Nathaniel and Helen. He treasured his close relationships with his siblings Anne Webb, the late Carolyn Edwards Pratt, and Roy Van Vleck, his brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many dear cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. A celebration of Howard's life will be held this summer (date to be determined). Donations in Howard's honor can be made to Just-A-Start (justastart.org), the Community Art Center (communityartcenter.org), or Pleasant Bay Community Boating (pbcb.cc).

View the online memorial for Howard A. Jr. VAN VLECK
Published in The Boston Globe on May 27, 2018
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