James Donald Howard passed away peacefully at St. Luke Health Services in Oswego, NY on July 30, 2017 at the age of 82 after fighting a long battle with dementia. Jim was born on September 21, 1934 in Fulton, NY to Sarah and Donald Howard and grew up in a tiny hamlet called Mt. Pleasant. He attended Fulton city schools, and also a one room schoolhouse in Mt. Pleasant for the 8th grade. Jim graduated from Fulton High School in 1952. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1954, and served at Fort Meade in Maryland until his honorable discharge in 1956. He was so proud of his country and of his time in the service that he spoke of it until dementia robbed him of that ability. He married Judy Moon in 1971 and they also made a home in Mt. Pleasant, where Judy stayed at home to raise their daughters, and, Jim worked for numerous factories in Fulton, including Armstrong, Sealright, and Black Clawson, where he was employed as a machinist. His children remember him as a kind and gentle father, who always had an encouraging word and a smile for all he met, and he could find something in common with anyone. Everywhere he went, he made a new friend. His daughters and grandchildren will do their best to keep his spirit alive!
Jim was accomplished at skipping rocks at Rudy’s and often took the time to do so. He taught his girls how to play baseball, fly kites, use a hammer, mow the lawn, and fearlessly taught us how to drive! He was a genuine individual who loved to pass the time just talking and who was passionate about spending time with those he loved. Jim was an active and dedicated member of the Hiram Masonic Lodge #144 in Fulton and often volunteered with them especially at Thanksgiving time, donating food to families in need, and care packages to veterans in the hospital at holiday time. His Masonic brothers were like a second family to him. He served as a District Deputy Grand Master and Oswego District Assistant Grand Lecturer. Jim was also a member and past High Priest of Fulton Chapter #167 Royal Arch Masons and Past Master of Fulton Council #50 Cryptic Masons.
Jim is survived by his children, Amy (Christopher) D’Arcy, of Phoenix NY, and Karen (Peter) Riesett, of West Melbourne FL; siblings, Pauline (Chuck) Farnsworth of Oswego NY, and David Howard of Liverpool NY; grandchildren, Tyler and Caitlyn D’Arcy, Lisa Howard, and Emily Riesett. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and neighbors in Mt. Pleasant. He is preceded in death by his wife, Judith Moon Howard in 2003, and brother, William Howard in 2016.
Calling hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at Foster Funeral Home, Inc., 910 Fay Street, Fulton, NY. A Masonic service will be held at 1:30 p.m. with funeral services at 2 p.m. Memorial donations are encouraged to The Masonic Home, 2150 Bleecker Street, Utica, NY 13501. The family would like to thank the staff of The Gardens at Morningstar, St. Luke Health Services, and Oswego Hospital for their care.