William "Bob" Howard, 63, passed peacefully away in his sleep on Sept. 5, 2020 following an extended illness.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Kim Howard, of Herrin; his son, Josh (Marrissa) Howard of Horse Cave, Kentucky; and a brother and a sister, Rodney (Maria) Howard of Junction and Patsy (Todd) Kietzman of Evansville, Indiana.
He is also survived by three cherished grandsons, Peter, Kenton and Scott, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Con and Loretta Howard of Shawneetown and an older brother, Greg Howard, also of Shawneetown.
Bob graduated Shawneetown High School in 1974, and he worked as a mechanic at his family's business until 1980 when he became a respected instructor at Southeastern Illinois College. While an instructor, Bob helped lead a group of like-minded students in the national alcohol engine program, designing an engine that could run solely on ethanol. His team was later invited to the White House and received an award from President Jimmy Carter for this work. The work was also written up in Prairie Farmer.
In 1989, Bob was selected for a summer internship with the National Honda Corporation in Anaheim, California. Bob then completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education at SIUC. He traveled to the Netherlands in an international teacher exchange program, and was selected as faculty of the year. Bob also chaired the transition of the ag mechanics program into the region's first diesel technology program.
Bob was a gifted storyteller and always ready to help someone in need. He had many hobbies and passions including riding Jeeps, hunting deer, and exploring the woods. However, Bob enjoyed spending quality time with his family and friends the most. They were his most precious possession, and it showed in the way that he lived his life.
A few months before his death, Bob prayed to receive Christ as his Savior. He is now free of the earthly body that constrained him these past three years.
Due to current pandemic restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date.