Brian Douglas Howard
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Brian Douglas Howard Computer designer and musician, died of cancer on February 1st at his home in Portola Valley, CA; he was 65 years old. Born on March 23, 1944, in Cambridge, MA, he grew up in Norman, OK. His father was a physics professor at the University of Oklahoma, and his mother was a classical pianist. He attended Stanford University on a National Merit scholarship, graduating in 1967 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. In 1978, he became the 32nd employee of Apple Computers. As editor of the famous computer manuals, he combined meticulous language skills with exhaustive computer knowledge to create user-friendly instruction books that helped to popularize the nascent company's products. One of the original four members of the Macintosh Project team, Brian Howard helped to revolutionize the personal computer; his signature was molded into the case of the original Macs. He eventually moved from computer documentation to architectural hardware design, which was more commensurate with his engineering background. At Apple, where he was the longest continuous employee, he was promoted to the level of DEST (Distinguished Engineer, Scientist or Technologist), in recognition of his exemplary work. He was celebrated among his colleagues for his fertile imagination and communication skills. An accomplished and dedicated musician, Brian played cornetto, flute, and recorder with the Stanford Renaissance Wind Band and sang with the St. Ann Choir, California Bach Society, Stanford Early Music Singers, and Albany Consort. He also performed music at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Marin County and, in 1986, became a founding member of the early brass and winds ensemble, The Whole Noyse. Predeceased by his mother Jane, stepmother Phyllis, father Robert, and brother Donald, Brian is survived by his beloved wife Lynne Toribara, stepdaughter Mariko Toribara, sisters Kathleen Howard (of Fostoria, OH) and Eileen Howard (of Belchertown, MA), nieces Keira Manes (of Greenfield, MA) and Terri Torres (of Fircrest, WA), and nephew Devin Manes (of Frederickton, NB, Canada), as well as a multitude of friends who cherished his gentle humility, boundless curiosity, creativity, generous spirit, and funny bone. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Doctors Without Borders or join Terra Pass. A memorial concert will be given at Stanford University's Memorial Church on Saturday, February 20 at 11 am.

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Published in San Jose Mercury News from Feb. 14 to Feb. 17, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
January 5, 2011
I miss you Brian!
Gene Rogers
February 18, 2010
Lynne, you and Brian were and are an important part of our lives even 33 years after leaving Palo Alto. Though we made it back to California infrequently, you both took an interest in our children by encouraging and mentoring them. We miss Brian and grieve with you Lynne. We treasure the time we have spent with your family.
Ruth and Jack
February 17, 2010
I worked with Brian on a lot of project here at Apple since 1983, he was a warm and gentle man that i will truly miss as a friend and coworker. May you Rest in Peace my friend
~Blessings~Teresa Hooks
Teresa Hooks
February 16, 2010
Jim and I loved dancing with you both at Stanford Quads. I can still see Brian's smile.
Sue Lietz-Davis
February 16, 2010
We are grateful Brian and Lynne helped us learn to square dance in our first class at Stanford Quads. I know by how regularly you danced with us that you enjoyed the mental and physical exercise as much as we have come to. I'm very sorry for your loss, Lynne, and we'll miss Brian too.
Jan Hoover
February 16, 2010
A gentle spirit with a ready smile, even under the most trying circumstances. We will miss him!
John Flora
February 16, 2010
I only knew Brian at work, from 1980-97. I think that just about every computer that he helped to design was a success in the market. But I never saw him brag or take credit. He just wanted the teams he was on to work well together and make great computers. He was the consummate professional. I'll miss him.
Larry Tesler
February 15, 2010
I had the pleasure of meeting Brian and Lynne very briefly at Five Branches clinic only days before his passing. In that briefest of meetings and under the stress and pain of Brian's condition, his gentle nature shone through. In that moment I felt his loss.
George Reading
February 15, 2010
Dear Lynne,
John and I always loved to see you and Brian hand in hand on your walks in Ladera. Your love and respect for each other was very clear. Our heartfelt thoughts are with you and your family. Please call us if you ever need help from a neighbor.
John and Shary Symon
February 15, 2010
Dear Lynne, all of us in Early Music mourn the loss of Brian, a prince of a man. Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
Miriam Palm
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