(News story) Dr. Russell V. Howard, a prominent Toledo pediatrician, died Nov. 22 in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. He was 90.
He died of pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus, daughter Karen Howard said.
Dr. Howard retired during the mid-1990s after at least 30 years as a private-practice pediatrician in Toledo. He was also chief of pediatrics at ProMedica Toledo Hospital for five years in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He was also instrumental in establishing what now is ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children's Hospital at that hospital and was on its board of directors for about five years after his retirement.
"He was an outstanding pediatrician with very good diagnostic skills," said Dr. Ernest Brookfield, a professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Toledo, a friend and former colleague. "He was particularly good with the patients and kids liked him."
For most of his medical career, Dr. Howard was in private practice with Dr. James Roberts, his primary practice partner. They had an office on Monroe Street near what then was Toledo Hospital.
Dr. Howard was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"He was a great diagnostician. He was quick to know what was wrong with children," daughter Lauren Howard, said, adding that she heard from many parents and patients that he was very warm with children and knew how to put them at ease.
"Kids liked to see Dr. Howard. They weren't afraid," daughter Karen Howard said.
In retirement, Dr. Howard split his time between Toledo, Bellaire, Mich., and Fort Myers, Fla., where he helped review medical records at Lee Memorial Hospital for several years.
Dr. Howard was born Sept. 28, 1930, in Holcomb, Mo., to Mabel and William Howard. He later moved with his family to Flint, Mich., when his father got a job at a General Motors plant.
After graduating high school as class valedictorian, he pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan on an academic scholarship and graduated from its medical school about 1956 with his medical doctor degree. An internship followed at Children's Hospital of San Francisco, after which he served as a Navy ship's doctor in the Pacific.
He was discharged with the rank of lieutenant and went to Columbus, where he completed residency with Ohio State University at what is now Nationwide Children's Hospital. He then moved to Toledo during the mid-1960s to join a small private practice.
About 1954, Dr. Howard married Lois Batchelor. They raised four daughters and later divorced. She survives.
"He was a stern and loving father who cared deeply for all of us," daughter Lauren Howard said, to which her sister Karen added: "It wasn't until I became the adult that I got to appreciate his parenting ways."
In 1992, he married Joan Parker. She also survives.
In retirement, Dr. Howard enjoyed boating on Lake Bellaire in northern Michigan.
He was preceded in death, by a daughter, Ellen Howard.
Surviving are his wife of 28 years, Joan Howard; his ex-wife, Lois Howard; daughters, Karen Howard, Lauren Howard, and Anapurna Madrone; 15 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by Reeb Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to Sylvania Child Care at Sylvania Community Services.
This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at [email protected]
, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.
Published by The Blade on Dec. 10, 2020.