Murphy Funeral Homes


Robert Dale Howe

July 8, 1936June 12, 2021

Robert “Bob” Howe was born on July 8, 1936 in Rapid City, South Dakota to Etta Grace Conklin and Robert Martin Howe. He was the first of their nine children. Bob grew up in Rapid City, Galena, and Sturgis, South Dakota. He attended South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City and received his Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He joined the Army in 1959 and retired as a Colonel in 1986. While in the army, he served three tours of duty in Vietnam. He received his Master’s in Operations Research/Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1969. After the Army, Bob joined Rand Corporation. He retired from Rand in 2004.

In August 1963, Bob met Joan Mary Ruddy in Washington, D.C. They were married on May 16, 1964 and celebrated their 57th anniversary this year. Shortly after being married, Bob was assigned to Etain, France and a year later he was assigned to Karlsruhe, Germany. While in France, Bob and Joan welcomed their first daughter Patricia Marie, and while in Germany, they welcomed their second daughter Deborah Marie. They moved back to the United States and made their home in Arlington, Virginia. They welcomed their son Michael Robert shortly after Bob finished his Master’s degree. Other than short times in Lakewood, Colorado and Point Magu, California, Bob and Joan lived in Arlington.

In 1997, Bob was very excited to welcome his first grandchild Keriann Elizabeth Reeves. She was joined three years later by Kayla Marie Reeves. In April 2007, his grandson Jackson Michael Howe was born. Bob loved and cherished all three of his grandchildren. He was fortunately able to spend significant time with Keriann and Kayla prior to his strokes. After his strokes, one of his greatest joys was seeing his grandchildren.

Bob was very active at St. Ann’s Catholic Church until his first stroke in July 2010. Over the years, Bob served on the parish council and the building committee. He was a lector for over 30 years. He ran and assisted with numerous white elephant sales, blood drives, and other events. Bob started coaching CYO basketball when Michael played and continued after Michael stopped playing. He also helped coach the CYO softball team at the request of Debbie.

Bob and Joan were active community volunteers as well. After retiring from Rand, they both volunteered for Meals on Wheels in Arlington. Bob would drive their route and Joan would bring the food to the clients. They also volunteered with Arlington Learning in Retirement (ALIR) - now known as Encore Learning. Bob served on the program committee at ALIR for several years and both Bob and Joan attended the classes. Bob was an active volunteer with both organizations until after his second stroke.

Bob took up golf later in life and loved playing. He had a great group of friends who regularly played a round together. One of his proudest moments was making a hole in one.

For the last ten years, Bob and Joan made their home at the Barkley Condominium in South Arlington. They made many friends there and Bob regularly received sweet treats from his neighbors. Joan is especially grateful to neighbors, friends, and family for their time, attention, and assistance over the years after Bob’s strokes.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Etta and Bob Howe; one sister Reina Diaz; and four brothers, Stanley Howe, Danny Howe, Patrick Howe, and David Howe. He is survived by his wife Joan of Arlington; his three children Tricia Reeves (Bill) of Manassas, Virginia, Debbie Howe of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Michael Howe (Kristen) of Woodinville, Washington; his three grandchildren Keriann Reeves, Kayla Reeves, and Jackson Howe; his three sisters Helen Lindquist of Sturgis, South Dakota, Leona Schroeder of Sturgis, South Dakota, and Earla Karels (Gordie) of Rapid City, South Dakota; and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

A funeral Mass is planned for 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 1 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia (5300 10th St N, Arlington, VA 22205). A reception will follow. Interment is at Arlington National Cemetery later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to Missionhurst - CICM, their website is located at; or to the restoration of Saint Martin’s Chapel in Sturgis, South Dakota, their website is located at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Robert Dale Howe

have a memory or condolence to add?

Susan Hartmus

July 2, 2021

Dear Joan and Family,
I wish to extend my deepest condolences for the passing of this wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all. I so enjoyed my interactions with you and Bob in the VHC Stroke Support Group. I'm so very blessed to have known the both of you. Please reach out to me if you need anything. My cell number is 703.300.3101. God bless you and your family.
Susie Hartmus