This month marks a year since William Robinson Howe, 95, died on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip with his loving wife of 40 years, Loretta, at his side.
Bill was born on Sept. 27, 1920 in Nashua, NH, the son of Harry Robinson Howe and Adonell Wilcox Howe. As a young child, he moved to Mansfield, MA, and trained on the Massachusetts State School Ship USS Nantucket before graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1941. He worked briefly for Sun Shipyard and Drydock Company before becoming an instructor in marine engineering at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. A year later, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a lieutenant and engineering officer aboard the USS Chew, a destroyer, and the USS Atascosa, a fleet oiler. After the war, he attended Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Bill co-owned Thomaston Construction Company in Great Neck from 1950 to 1966 and, in 1955, began a 35-year career as building inspector, superintendent of Public Works and village engineer for several villages on Long Island, including Great Neck Estates, Thomaston, Flower Hill and Massapequa Park. He was a member of several professional societies, including the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.
Bill is survived by his wife, Loretta Howe, of West Islip; his son, Stephen Howe, his daughter-in-law, Kathleen Howe, and his granddaughter, Lily Howe, all of Saint Albans, VT; Loretta’s son, Alexander Howe, of St. Petersburg, FL; his sister, Barbara Yager, his brother-in-law Richard Yager, and his nephew, Jonathan Yager, all of the Miami, FL area; his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Howe, of Camp Hill, PA; his niece, Laura Howe of Ann Arbor, MI; and his brother-in-law Charles Lupo of Wickford, RI, and Lupo’s family. Bill was predeceased in 1974 by his first wife of 28 years, Lois Lyon Howe, and by his brother, Richard Howe, in 2008.
Never one to be far from the sea, Bill loved nothing more than to be with his family and read a book while sitting in his chair by a window overlooking Great South Bay.