Merle G Howard
April 11, 1927 – April 3, 2019
Greenbush - Merle G. Howard, 92, passed away in his sleep, April 3, 2019 in Greenbush, Maine. He was lovingly cared for in his home, by his family, since the passing of his wife, Velma, three years ago. Merle was born in Islesboro, April 11, 1927. Always a true islander, it was only natural that he joined the Navy a few months shy of the legal age, possibly fibbing on his paperwork, as did many young men at that time, with the clear passion to serve his country. He went on to serve four years aboard a heavy cruiser, the USS Helena, during WWII. His duty on the ship was to maintain the 'captain's gig' otherwise known as the liberty boat and drive the captain when in port. He has shared many stories over the years of his experiences and adventures the North Atlantic, the ports of England, Scotland, Japan, and China. After being honorably discharged, he returned home earning the moniker, Jack of All Trades. Although his full time job was as Assistant Foreman at Viners Shoe, he was a very creative man, an artist. He built furniture, repaired small engines and was often sought out for his wisdom. He was also an avid and talented musician, with skills on the guitar, keyboard, vocals, harmonica and the accordian, playing at times with Maine's own Dick Curless. Merle and some of Velma's relatives had been known to get together and play their instruments on the porch into the night. Cars would just pull into the dooryard to hear and enjoy, but all they could see were little orange glows from cigarettes. Upon retiring from Viners Shoe, Merle and Velma became 'snowbirds', traveling to Florida for the winter. Theirs was a rich, adventurous life filled with love. Merle was predeceased by his mother, Mona Dodge; wife, Velma; sister, Maxine Taggart; granddaughter, Amber O'Keefe; and son-in-law, Harold Carter. He is survived by his son, Merle Howard, Jr, and his partner, Beth; daughter, Suzette Carter; son, Craig Howard, and his partner, Lisa; and his grandchildren Noel, Crystal and her husband Jeff, Becky, Sarah and her partner, Dan, and Lance. He was also blessed with many special nieces, nephews and great grandchildren. A memorial celebration of Merle's life will be held at Cardville Cemetery later in the spring.