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John Verdi Howard

June 25, 1936 — February 21, 2024

John Verdi Howard

John Verdi Howard June 25, 1936 — February 21, 2024 John Verdi Howard passed on February 21, 2024, surrounded by the love of his family. The son of James and Doris Howard, John was born on June 25, 1936, in London, England. His early years were marked by the challenges of World War II, during which time his family was evacuated to Somerset where he grew up in the village of Curry Rivel.

At the age of 13, John was one of the youngest church organists in England, foreshadowing his musical talent that would become a defining feature of his character. Growing into an accomplished pianist, he pursued higher education at Yeovil Technical College, where he studied Aerospace Engineering.

John's dedication to service led him to the Royal Navy, where he trained as a helicopter pilot before starting his career in aerospace engineering. His engineering talents were quickly recognized, leading to a transatlantic move to the United States in 1966, settling in Atlanta, Georgia, after being recruited by Lockheed. Over the next several years, John's career led him to various corners of the U.S. and back to England, working with other industry leaders including Boeing, Vought, Westland Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas, HondaJet, and Bell Helicopter. In the early 1970s, he and his young family settled in Arlington, Texas, where they lived for almost 40 years. In 2000, he and Valerie purchased a vacation home in Georgia where they spent many summers enjoying time on Lake Lanier. In 2010, they made a permanent move to Cumming, GA.

Beyond his professional achievements, John was a man of diverse passions. He loved the outdoors, gardening, jogging, playing his piano and boating on his beloved Lake Lanier. A devoted family man, he worked tirelessly to provide his children with every opportunity for success. Known for his unshakable honesty, selflessness and his love for engaging conversations, John was a great debater who cherished the exchange of ideas. Central to John's world was his wife of 63 years, Valerie, and their three children and grandsons. Lovingly nicknamed “Bee” by his grandsons, John spent countless hours imparting his wisdom, teaching them to swim and waterski, picking vegetables in his garden, and cheering them on at sports events. He leaves behind family memories of trips to the beach, countless hours by the pool, and long summer days at the lake.

Rooted in his lineage, John was proud to be related to the composer Giuseppe Verdi, a connection that fueled his deep love for music and piano playing. A man of many talents, he held several patents as an inventor, showcasing his innovative spirit.

John is preceded in death by his parents, James and Doris Howard and his siblings Norman Howard and Mary Howard.

He is survived by his wife Valerie Howard; son Mark (Cheryl) Howard and family of Albuquerque, NM, daughter Nicola (Tim) Schwab of Cumming, GA, and daughter Michele (Scott) McClain of Birmingham, AL; grandchildren Connor and Carson McClain, and Ryan Flynn, as well as his faithful Golden Retriever, Bella. He is also survived by other close family members in England including Clare (Denis) Costello and family of Norwich, brother-in-law John (Veronica) Warner of Somerton, and brother in-law Roger Smith of Drayton.

While John loved his life, family, and friends in the United States, it was always his wish to return to the gentle countryside of England. He will be laid to rest in Somerset, alongside his brother and sister. Family and friends will remember John as a kind, fair, and deeply loving man who left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know him.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 23rd from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Tam’s Backstage in Cumming, Georgia.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

 American Heart Association 

Your gift MATCHED to help save lives! - American Heart Association

Ingram Funeral Home, 210 Ingram Ave, Cumming, GA will oversee arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Verdi Howard, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 23, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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