Barnaby Howard
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HOWARD Barnaby J. Howard, son of a British lord, who grew up to be a pilot with the U.S. Navy during World War II and later a farmer in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before returning to the United States to set up a successful investment company, died December 18th at home in the Jacksonville, Florida suburb of Orange Park at age 86 after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. In seeking his fortune overseas, he lived in the tradition of his great grand-father Donald Smith who left Scotland in the 19th century and became one of the great figures of Canadian history, helping create the Canadian Pacific Railway and being knighted by Queen Victoria for his services. Generating great wealth and influenced by Carnegie, his philanthropy in medicine and education was to be a significant influence in his great grandson's life. A tall, handsome man even into old age, Mr. Howard never lost his distinctive English accent, but his unpretentious nature and breezy charm put people from all walks of life at ease. Although he was to have the title of the Honorable as the second son of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal and was educated at the storied English schools Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, he was known to everybody simply as Barny. Around Orange Park, he usually wore track suit pants and a simple shirt, with an old blue blazer adorned with his Navy flyer's wings as his only concession to formality. Born on Nov, 23, 1925, in London, Barny's earliest memories coincided with the start of the Great Depression in 1929. He was never to forget the sorrow he felt at the sight of desperate unemployed men in the streets of London. These memories forever influenced his philosophy of wealth and the responsibility of wealth. He spent every summer of his youth on the small Scottish island of Colonsay, in the Inner Hebrides, part of his father's estate. Here he roamed far and wide, learning to sail, row and hunt, begetting a life long love of the earth and the sea, a theme nurtured later in Rhodesia, and strengthened into deeply held convictions of the need for land and water conservation and preservation. He started at Eton in September 1938, and his years there were marked by the coming of World War II a year later. He acted as a schoolboy air raid warden, patrolling the school at night to douse out incendiary bombs if they should fall. He also worked at a factory in nearby Slough, where Hurricane fighters were made. In 1943, he reported to Portsmouth as an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve with the hope of joining the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot. He succeeded in being accepted for flight training and was part of a small Royal Navy-US Navy exchange program where he trained as a fighter pilot. When he and a few of his classmates were offered the chance to join an operational United States Naval Reserve unit flying F4U Corsairs out of the Naval air station at Jacksonville, his happy experience there would draw him back years later to live in sight of the air station. A friendship, begun with an American air naval instructor, Edmond Cherbonnier and his wife Phyllis would be one of the many life long gifts of that time. Upon returning to England as an eligible young officer, he was invited by King George VI to one of the first parties held at Buckingham Palace after the war, where he danced with Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth (the future queen). At another party at the palace a year later, he met Winston Churchill, one of the idols of his life, frequently recalling his famous quote: Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.He eventually went to read law at Trinity College at Cambridge University. Upon graduation in 1948, he did what was expected of second sons of noble families at the time - he struck out on his own, in this case for Africa. It was the beginning of a 20 year period as a resident of Rhodesia. He established a ranch near the town of Umtali, not far from the Mozambique border. Though it was in rough bush and the haunt of baboons and leopards, he built a house with the mud of the land, put in a water supply and a road. In 1952, he married Betsy Mayfield of St. Louis, MO. They had three children - Alan, Elizabeth and Sarah - continuing to live in Africa where they had many adventures. In addition to raising a family, running his cattle ranch, cultivating tobacco, and running a small medical clinic, he was appointed to the Commission on Forestry and Conservation, while beginning a multitude of business ventures. By the early 60's the political situation had deteriorated in Rhodesia and he became disenchanted with the government. Amidst political turmoil, he left in 1965, having lost everything, including his marriage to Betsy. After the divorce, she relocated to St. Louis MO. In 1967; Barny relocated to Paris. Here he was to meet James (Jimmy) Rosenwald - a mentor and colleague whose astute insight into Japanese insurance stocks would yield great profit in later years. It was Jimmy's grandson, Jamie, in a great act of the heart, who would fly Barny on several private flights late in his life, including the final flight home. In 1970, after studying at Harvard Business School, he began the second part of his life. He moved permanently to the United States after marrying his second wife, Mary Jane Bishop, of Bedford, N.Y., a widow with five children. With the help of friends and some Harvard professors, he founded Canadian American Investment and Management Services (CAIMS), an investment firm that specialized in small businesses. CAIMS prospered and so he continued with his entrepreneurial spirit to bring new ventures to life - many of which created life-long benefit to generations, including the portable defibrillator and the densitometer, a bone density measuring device. He also established a summer haven in Cape Breton, Canada, having been introduced to this Gaelic countryside by his old Montreal friends, the Hales and the Hodgsons. After his wife Mary Jane died in 1994, he moved back to Jacksonville. There he was briefly married to Linda Kitson of London, who in a few years returned to England to continue her successful art career. In Orange Park, Barny planted citrus trees by the St. Johns River, renewed his friendship with his dear friend Helen Lane of Jacksonville, Florida, and made new life-long friends including Dan and Nan Copp of Memphis Tennessee who introduced him to the wild peacefulness of Cumberland Island. While continuing to manage many investments, in 2005, he began finalizing his memoirs, Questioning the Answers at the encouragement of his wife Evelyn (Evie) Mc Donald of Montreal, Canada whom he had met some thirty five years before and married in 2006. His memoirs tell the story not only of his life but of his deep convictions regarding the themes of bias and prejudice, freedom and responsibility, wealth and tithing. At the conclusion of his memoirs, with great humility and hope, Barny says, I feel I have much more left to do, but I suspect most of us always feel that way. If it is saddening to know how very little has been achieved, it ought to be comforting nevertheless to be aware, even if only dimly, of the wonderful opportunities for new discoveries and inventions we have left for our future generations. I cannot ever remember being bored-nor need they ever. He is survived by his wife, Evie, two brothers, Euan, Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal of Great Britain, and Jonathon Howard of Sweden; two daughters Elizabeth de Laperouse and Sarah Thomasson, both of St. Louis, MO; five step-children from the Bishop family: Janie Putnam of Bedminster, N.Y, Nat Bishop of Barrington, R.I., Cindy Dickey of Philadelphia, Pa., Priscilla Henry of Sewickley, Pa, and Linda Moody of Wellesley, MA, six grand-children, 12 step grand-children, four step great grand-children, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son Alan Howard and his sister Didon Faber. A memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, Orange Park Florida on February 4th and at Holy Trinity Church, London England in March. In lieu of flowers, donations to one of Barny's favorite charities are requested: St Johns River Keepers , Clothes Closet, Orange Park, FL and Grace Episopal Church, Orange Park, FL Please Sign the Guestbook @

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Published in Florida Times-Union on Jan. 22, 2012.
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3 entries
January 24, 2012
Knowing Barney has been a true pleasure. His stories of his experiences wore both interesting and informative. He would lend us books about Winston Churchill and we came to admire Mr. Churchill as much as Barney admired him. We will miss the days we sat with the family around the fireplace listening to Barney's adventures. Farewell good friend.

Gil & Ellen Godfrey
January 23, 2012
Barney Howard was absolutely the most remarkable person I have ever known. I could, and often did, listen to him for hours - amazed at the things he had to say.

The world has lost a very real treasure.

God bless his entire family and all his many friends.

Here's hoping he has found clear skies, strong tail winds and following seas.
Gene Aschenbeck
January 22, 2012
We have been privileged to be Barny's friend and nieghbor for many years. He will be missed by us and his many friends in the community. Farewell, good friend.
Vincent & June Schuppert
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