Howard Otto Cammack

March 16, 1943July 2, 2020
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Howard Otto Cammack passed into the arms of his Heavenly Father July 2,2020.

Before his birth on March 16, 1943, our mother, Orpha, heard twice these words: ”This one is the Lord’s.” When Howard was a few months old and not developing like the older boys had, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. As his life unfolded, mom remembered what she believed God told her, and it was a comfort. God had a purpose for Howard’s life and a guiding hand. His diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy did not define him! And he was always in the arms of Jesus these 77 years.

As a child, he had two older brothers and a baby sister to play with, but it was his trike and garden cart (actually mom’s) that were his first wheels. He soon learned he could push that cart down the country roads, causing much anguish for the family. Eventually his safety and mom’s responsibilities on the farm necessitated Howard live at the State of Oregon’s Fairview Home in Salem. It was with much anguish that our parents took him there. Of course we could visit and he could visit us, but it was with many tears on all sides.

Oregon closed Fairview beginning in 1969 and Howard then lived in group homes until he was old enough to live with one roommate and then on his own. He was happiest not sharing his living space. One habit I recall Howard had as a young person was taking his radios apart. My mother would get so irked! Nothing could persuade him to stop disassembling his electronic equipment. Finally I reminded her that other guys his age were taking cars and motors apart, so maybe this was cheaper.

Howard loved LIFE! He was a people person and seemed to know no strangers. He needed to belong and contribute. He mowed our parent’s lawn and put up the Christmas lights outside for many years. He was good with his phone and called to remind folks of many things: Outdoor lighting was kept up to date at People’s Church and the Volcano baseball stadium. He reminded me monthly to change the calendars. He made sure we were planning holiday gatherings. His job at Garten Services gave him friends. Community Services parties, dances, summer camping, and cruises gave him joy!

God graciously provided for Howard’s needs. Salem Support Services staff and care-givers loved and cared for Howard for 27 years. We are eternally grateful for their commitment to him. The People’s Church accepted his constant presence and provided the fellowship he needed. Music fed him night and day. I would answer the phone with Howard telling me my favorite hymn was playing. Listening to hymns calmed him in his last days as caregivers came and cared so graciously for him. New Horizons Health and Home Care came when he needed 24 hour care In his apartment in November of last year and provided loving care by staff and care-givers until his death. Our family greatly appreciates both agencies for their excellent care.

The last couple years were hard for Howard as he spent months in rehab two different times. Then on May 26, 2020, his leg gave way and scans showed tumors. He was sent to Portland’s OHSU for diagnosis and treatment. Cancer was in the bones, lungs and liver. The football-sized tumor above his knee was removed and knee repaired. He came home on June 7. We were told he may have a few months but he declined quickly and found breathing more difficult. Hospice provided guidance with care and we prayed that the Lord would take him soon. Our prayer was granted as he died in his sleep July 2.

Howard’s father, Forrest, preceded him in death in 2004, and his mother, Orpha, in 2007. His eldest brother, William, died by drowning in 1953. Howard is survived by his brother Edwin (Marie) and sister Marita (Jonathan) Bishop; nephews are Dan Cammack (Tami), Devin Bishop (Rosann), Greg Bishop (Lisa), Matt Bishop and Cosman Bishop; and nieces are Betty Kelley (Bill), and Jana Robbins (Ben).

A Graveside Service was held on July 8 at Rosedale Church Cemetery.

A Celebration of Life has been scheduled for September 19, 2020 at 1pm at Peoples Church on Lancaster Drive in Salem. You are welcome to join friends and family to remember Howard.

In memory of Howard donations may be made to Peoples Church for the OPERATION FIREBALL project which distributes Bibles around the world in many languages. Their address is 4500 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR 97305.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Cammack family.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, September 19, 2020


Howard Otto Cammack

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dave Bartlett

July 21, 2020

Working on the security team at People's Church we have many different responsibilities. Howard would always come to us to tell us when a light bulb needed changed or the clock was off by three minutes (had to tell us exactly). One clock in particular I know drove him nuts because we took it down and adjusted it to the correct time a couple of times but it would never stay correct. Pretty sure it was three minutes off all the time and we explained that to him. He didn't complain too much about it after that but Im positive it drove him nuts lol! Always looked forward to seeing Howard at church. It's a hard blow for many of us to hear the news that he is gone.

Ruth Backer

July 15, 2020

Although attending church with Howard for many years, I really got to know him while working for a marketing company in a local grocery store. He would travel around the store with me keeping me company, chatting all the while. Shortly thereafter our family was involved in a car accident leaving our youngest son wheelchair bound. Howard had a special bond with Regan and never failed to ask about him if he didn’t see him at church on Sunday. During baseball season Howard never failed to remind us when the Volcanoes were playing at home and that we needed to bring Regan. It was always a joy to help Howard at church and be rewarded with his smile. We are blessed to have known him and miss him so much. We look forward to seeing him in heaven!

Mark Hermann

July 4, 2020

Howard and I were buddies. We'd sit in the church lobby together, often talking about hymns he was listening to. He'd try to stump me, asking if I knew particular songs. Being a church organist, I was familiar with all his favorites. It was a funny bond we had...I'll miss our chats.

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