David Howard

Graveside inurnment services for David Paul Howard, 66, Lawrence, KS will be announced in early December for Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.  He was found dead at his home on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

He was born on December 5, 1944 in Lawrence, KS, the son of Paul E. & Kathryn L. Martin Howard.  He went to grade school in Joplin, MO and later graduated from Lawrence High School in 1963.

David was the manager of the family farm land east of Lawrence.  Earlier, he worked as a classical music radio announcer for radio stations in St. Louis, MO and Kalamazoo, MI. He also wrote poetry and fiction, as well as composed choral music.

During his earlier life, he was a frequent bass soloist and sung in the choir at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence.  He received his B.A. degree in voice from the University of Kansas.  While at K.U., he also played the oboe in the K.U. Symphony. Before graduating from K.U., he did special study in voice at Indiana University.

He was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, honorary member of Tau Sigma, World Wide Fund for Nature, member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and a supporter of several environmental causes.

Survivors include two cousins.

3 Condolences

  1. Diana Arensberg Leming on October 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Never meet David buthad talked with him on the phone for hrs, he liked to visit. As a child my family lived in the old farm house east of town. He lete go back to visit great memories.sorry for for loss

  2. Tyson T. Travis on October 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Although Dave was one year ahead of me in LHS (he graduated in 1962, not 1963),we were best friends there and at KU. We double-dated, listened to vintage jazz, solved the world’s problems, and I tried to encourage his musical career. Sorry I was unable to connect with him in recent years, but am happy he was able to manage the family farm. Apparently, he passed away alone, he deserved better. Will miss him, best wishes, Dave!

  3. Marla J. Hefty on September 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Dec. 5, 2011

    What is – Last Birthday Card, Last Phone Call, and Last Jeopardy and Requiem, all in one?

    1. Happy birthday, David! Today is your 67th birthday, and tomorrow is your burial. Some kind of cosmic joke apparently to demonstrate how short life is no matter how passionately or passively a person has lived. Seize the day, this one day, for tomorrow your ashes are scattered in the wind or buried in the ground.

    Why a man who valued great words and works of music always insisted on a commercial card for birthdays and holidays I never understood. Was this the only poetry you required of me? This is not poetry; it is only a crummy commercial card for you to take with you. Not a requiem either, despite the title. Just one requiem that you wrote for a mother, a father, or a friend makes a lie of this. That powerful music against a few poor words to try to pass the gravity of your passing.

    2) This is the last phone call of how many hundreds over forty years. “Hey Marla, did you get the answer on Final Jeopardy today?” “Did you watch Patrick Stewart doing Macbeth? Talk about overacting….” “Had a very long conversation with Dan the other day.” “The noise from the dump trucks is invading my space!”

    On the day I learned of your death, I made so many calls to notify people and to try to learn why you were dead when you were definitely better, you said, during our last phone call. Your voice was strong and as always resonant. Not the voice of a dying man. The deep and powerful voice of a man who sang in choirs, in operas, a man whose voice boomed out from the radio introducing music with passion, a voice over the phone in my ear, deep voice which invaded my brain. When I had called every person I could think of who needed to be called, I called your number and listened to it ring. Then I listened to silence for a while. Why did I do that? Habit maybe. And who else was I going to tell about this exciting, awful, unbelievable event that had just happened. Disbelief. It was Halloween or thereabouts, and I suspected you were playing a joke on me with your weird sense of humor. Dying too soon is a joke you might think of. I wanted to call and tell you off! This is my last call to you out in the ether, wherever you are or are not. What do you mean, dying on me like that, when you ought to have lived at least twenty more years?

    3. The Last Final Jeopardy
    Put it in the form of a question: What is the end of life? Answer: The final jeopardy! No more exposure to loss, injury, death. The end of risk, hazard, chance, peril; no more dangerous, dangerous peril. No more slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. A very final jeopardy as we pass through and away. On to rest and peace and quiet. The end of noise from dump trucks. No more traffic on Highway 10. No more dirt and disorder and cacophony and chaos in houses and cities and worlds that rust and decay, disintegrate into heaps of junk, and fall apart. Cremation, incineration, destruction, bulldozing comes like a blessing. Now you are beyond all that. Untouchable now beyond the reach of all that storm and strife and jeopardy of living. Now harmony, euphony, the music of spheres. Rest in peace, David. David, beloved of God, which is what your name means. Requiem eternam! Requiem! Requiem!

    The rest is silence!
    Only the faint echoes of a powerful voice – now stillness. Silent and night.

    You wanted a card because it was the least I could do to celebrate your birthday. Now this is the least I can do for the day of your death. Words on the wind. (You would now add, “Maybe just windy words.”) Windy words to celebrate you.

    When we used to watch – is it “Black Cat?”, you loved to imitate (is it Bela Lugosi?) in the scene with the old phone in an ancient castle (are there phones in a ruined castle?). Ordinarily I would call you to get the facts straight. Now I can only call the reference desk where the young person knows only what she can find on the computer. Nothing about proper wording of a requiem and none of the details I need about “Black Cat,” if the film even is “The Black Cat.” Who will I call now when I am forgetting names and details only you would know?

    Put it in the form of a question: What are the famous lines David loved to quote from the movie, “The Black Cat”?
    Answer: “The phone is dead! Even the phone is dead!”

    So I can’t call you; the phone is dead. (I tried it once again just to be sure.)
    So, the rest is silence!
    Rest in peace. Requiem! Requiem!

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