Robert Timothy Howard
April 28, 1940 – August 11, 2020
Major General (MG) Robert Timothy Howard died unexpectedly at his home in Springfield, VA on the night of August 11, 2020. He was born in Everett, MA, the second of four brothers, on April 28, 1940, to John and Charlotte Howard. He attended Boston College High School before enrolling in Northeastern University and the ROTC program, where upon graduation he was a Civil Engineer and a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. During his high school years, at the age of 14, he met Ciretta who later became his loving and devoted wife of 59 years. During his military career, both he and his wife worked together to serve our country. While MG Howard served with troops, Ciretta served in friendship, support, and mentoring to countless other Army wives and families throughout their time in the Army.
MG Howard began his 33-year Army career in 1963. He served in successive command and staff assignments with increasing responsibility in the United States, Europe and Asia, including two combat tours in the Republic of Vietnam. At Fort Bragg, he served as commander of a battalion, and then a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps respectively. His subsequent assignments included key positions focusing on special programs, systems analysis, modeling and simulation, strategic planning and financial management. In his last active duty assignment, MG Howard served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Army for Budget. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, multiple awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He was an Army Ranger and Master Parachutist, who inculcated the Ranger ethos in every unit he commanded, while earning lasting admiration from soldiers of all ranks. MG Howard left the Army a legacy of subsequent senior Army leaders who benefitted from his guidance and example.
He retired from the US Army in 1996 and joined the Cubic Corporation where he served as Vice President and General Manager for programs in support of the United States and foreign governments. This included assisting former communist states in Central/Eastern Europe and the Caucasus with defense reform, restructuring and modernization. After nine years at Cubic Corp., he served as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs until his retirement in 2009. He continued to offer his expertise as a consultant with Spectrum Group, Insightful Consulting Services, and ADNET Systems, Inc. for the next 11 years.
His academic experience included service as an assistant professor of mathematics at the US Military Academy and as an adjunct professor for the American University. His graduate education is comprised of an MS in Mathematics from Texas A&M University and an MMAS in Military Art and Science from the Army Command and General Staff National War College.
Major General Howard is survived by his wife, Ciretta, two daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two brothers. He was an avid reader and loved music, history, the outdoors, and traveling. Nicknames included “Project Man” and “Barbed Wire Bob”. He was a dear friend to many and a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, who will be sadly missed.
He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Condolences may be shared at www.demainefunerals.com
Due to Covid-19 restrictions Funeral Services in attendance will be private, but please join us virtually on Saturday August 29th starting at 11am at https://www.facebook.com/DemaineFuneral/
Please consider a donation in Bob’s honor to one of his favorite charities:
The Father McKenna Center- https://fathermckennacenter.org/
St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families: https://www.stanns.org/
Wounded Warriors- https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
St. Jude’s- https://www.stjude.org/
- Major General Howard is survived by his wife, Ciretta, two daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two brothers
Robert Timothy Howard
September 2, 2020
Dear Ciretta and girls,
Just received the GOMO notice of Bob's passing and wanted to convey our sincere condolences. I have fond memories of the days when we were next door neighbors in Springfield and Bob built almost single handedly the second floor on your house. We value the fact that we were able to serve with him over the years. He will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Tom, Deborah, and Michele Jones
August 30, 2020
Ceretta & The Howard Family: I am so sadden to hear of Bob's passing. I had the privilege to work with Bob at VA. He was a terrific leader, decisive, smart, mission oriented, and always a gentleman! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Harold and Carol Lockwood
August 29, 2020
Ciretta, We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to you and the family. We were so fortunate to have known this wonderful man.
Chris and Michael Naylor
August 29, 2020
Our sincere sympathies on the loss of your beloved brother Bob. We enjoyed spending time with him and his wife through your introduction, lovely couple. We shared a Massachusetts connection with them as well. Your brother was such a wonderful, accomplished man, and you were a devoted brother to him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May he rest in peace.
Michael and Chris Naylor
August 29, 2020
My deepest heartfelt condolences to the Howard family.
Uncle Bob was such a great and loving man. I have many happy memories of spending time with Uncle Bob, and My Aunt Ciretta. One of my fondest memories was When my family went to visit the Howards in West Point. I remember Uncle Bob bringing out his guitar and harmonica and playing for us all. He knew how to calm a room full of rambunctious children. Godspeed Uncle Bob!
All my love Auntie, Laurie, and Debbie and the rest of the family.
August 28, 2020
I worked with Bob and considered him a friend during his time at Veterans Affairs, and I am saddened to hear of his passing. My only regret is that I did not know him longer and better. My prayers are with his wife and family. You and his many friends have lost a good man.
August 28, 2020
Ciretta and Family, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Howard. It was an honor to work for him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
August 28, 2020
I'm so sorry for your loss. It was a pleasure and a honor to work with Mr. Howard at the VA.
August 28, 2020
My sympathies and prayers for you and all of your family on the passing of your brother to his eternal reward.
O God of all spiritual and corporeal beings, You Who trampled death, broke the power of Satan and granted life to the world. Now, O Lord, grant rest to the soul of Your departed servant Robert, in a place of light, freshness, and peace, where there is neither pain, nor suffering, nor sighing, but only life everlasting.
Because You are a gracious God and love mankind, forgive him every transgression committed by him in word or deed, since You alone are without sin. For You are the resurrection, the life and the rest of Your servant Robert, O Christ our God, and we render glory to You, together with Your Eternal Father, and Your most Holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and always, unto the ages.
And may his memory be eternal and thrice-blessed.
Neil Foley, BCHS '64
August 27, 2020
Tom, My condolences on the loss of your brother.
Brian Kingston BC High '64
August 26, 2020
Uncle Bob helped out a high school friend over 30 years ago. here is his email:
Phil, sorry for your loss. If I recall properly, Bob helped me get my Ranger Contract to enter the military. I remember my contract was unassigned Ranger. If I failed at anytime in the process I would go up for world wide assignment. A year of training and tryouts later, I came home for leave, having graduated Basic, Advanced, Airborne School, Ranger Indoctrination Program, not called RASP, was assigned to 2/75th Rangers, where I continued my training, Graduated Ranger School Class, 5-86, I went in Uniform to watch him parachute, into Edwards AFB on Cape Cod. I was proud to see him, after his Jump. I properly saluted him, wearing my dress greens, bloused polished jump boots, Black Beret with both my 2nd Ranger Battalion Scroll and Gold/Black Ranger Tab on top with my Silver Wings. As I saluted him, I gave the standard Ranger salute to all Officers, A sharp crisp salute, saying “Rangers Lead the Way Sir”. His reply was an equally sharp salute, responding “All the Way”. I was so proud to be selected to that unit. At that time there were only about 2500 Rangers in Special Operations. My year of training, was only the beginning. A beginning that would not have happened had you not introduced my to your uncle. Although I did not know him well, and only met briefly it was an honor to have completed my Ranger Training knowing BoB Howard was the catalyst for making that happen. Over the next several years in the Rangers, I deployed to Central America, the Middle East and Mogadishu Somalia. I had the opportunity to serve with true heroes that helped train me as. Young Ranger, and they later made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. Today I owe my success in life to my Ranger Training. It propelled me to rise in the ranks and become a leader. It served me very well during my next career in Law Enforcement For many years, including now in business and my marriage of 32 years.
August 23, 2020
Ciretta and family, Karen and I extend our heartfelt condolences and we keep you in our prayers. Bob was a great friend and a true servant leader who loved Soldiers. Many Soldiers and their families benefited from the service of Bob and Ciretta. Bob’s colleagues were made better for having served with him. Airborne.
August 17, 2020
We extend to you our heartfelt sympathy.
August 15, 2020
So sorry to hear of your father passing. Please know you all are in our prayers
August 13, 2020
Laurie - I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.