Charles William Howard, 85, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004, at Northern Montana Hospital of natural causes.
A prayer vigil will be held 7 p.m. today at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel. A funeral memorial Mass will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Jude's Catholic Church with
the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at the Calvary Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the St. Jude Parish Center immediately after the services at the graveside.
Charles was born Jan. 2, 1919, in Choteau to William and Adeline Howard. As a young child, he moved with his family to Havre. He attended schools in Havre and graduated from Havre High School. He enlisted with the U.S. Army and served in World War II.
Charles married Lucille Bradley on July 23, 1942, in Indio, Calif. He was honorably discharged in 1945. Charles returned to Havre and went to work for the Great Northern Railway and the Burlington Northern Railway as a brakeman and later as a conductor. He retired in 1980. He and Lucille raised their three children in Havre.
Charles enjoyed photography, gardening, dancing, fishing, hunting, woodworking, oil painting and biking. He loved bird-watching and constructed blue bird houses that he placed in the Bear Paw Mountains and maintained for many years. Charles was known as the "Bluebird Man" of the Bear Paw Mountains.
He served as the past president of the Havre Art Association, and was a member of the St. Jude Catholic Church, Elks and Eagles for many years.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Arleen Willard, Elizabeth Timmerman, Flora Arbogast and Harriett Trembley; brother, Walter Howard; and one great-grandchild.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Lucille Howard of Havre; daughters, Colleen (Jim) Magera of Havre and Susan Howard of Aurora, Colo.; son, Gerald (Claudia) Howard of Havre; grandchildren, John Magera, James Magera Jr., Charles Magera, Susan (Magera) Thompson, Shannon Magera, Shane Howard, Kyle Howard, Stephaine (Wing) Noah, Josuha Wing and Ricky Williams; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Charles' honor may be made to the Havre Hill County Library, 402 Third St., Havre, MT 59501 or to a memorial of one's choice.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.