Demaine Funeral Home


Robert Timothy Howard

April 28, 1940August 11, 2020
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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

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

Please consider a donation in Bob’s honor to one of his favorite charities:

The Father McKenna Center-

St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families:

Wounded Warriors-

St. Jude’s-


  • Major General Howard is survived by his wife, Ciretta, two daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two brothers


  • Visitation

    Friday, August 28, 2020


  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, August 29, 2020


  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021


Robert Timothy Howard

have a memory or condolence to add?

Thomas Jones

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

Scott Denniston

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.

Scott Denniston

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

Garry Genualdo

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.

Harold Gracey

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.

Jennifer Duncan

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.

Jennifer Duncan

Bridget Turner

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.

Neil Foley

August 28, 2020

Father Jack,

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

brian kingston

August 27, 2020

Tom, My condolences on the loss of your brother.
Brian Kingston BC High '64
Natick, MA