Dennis Howard was a man who loved the Lord, was utterly devoted to his family, was generous to a fault and embraced life with passion.
Dennis Howard was a man who loved the Lord, was utterly devoted to his family, was generous to a fault and embraced life with passion. Dennis walked into the arms of his precious Savior on Dec. 29, 2016, at his home in Hettinger after a sudden heart attack. Born in Glendive, Mont. on Oct. 27, 1948, to William Arthur and Bette Lou (Boese) Howard, he was the eldest of five sons and attended Richie schools and later Dickinson High School where he began his life-long hobby of ham radio, which he was active in until the present. A highlight of his ham career was teaching his grandsons the art and seeing all four of them become licensed radio operators earlier this year. In Dickinson, Dennis met and married his beloved Ruth Viland on Feb. 14, 1975. The couple lived in Glendive where they were blessed with two sons, Wade and Derric. They also lived in Denver and Bismarck while Dennis worked for AT&T, and retired to Hettinger recently to be close to children and grandchildren. Dennis loved to give. He was a fervent supporter of Trails End Ranch Bible Camp in Montana and Jungle Aviation And Radio Service. He sang throughout his life at every opportunity, be it in concert, choir or around the dinner table with family. He loved to spend weeks in the fall in his “other office” — driving grain cart for his farming brothers-in-law near Wahpeton, where he would eagerly welcome any of his great-nieces to ride with him. He delighted in treating his kids and grandchildren to family trips to the Oregon Coast and dazzling them with his kite flying. He was “silly Papa” to his granddaughters who he engaged in fun and games with on Facetime, due to their living overseas. And he couldn’t get enough of giving his grandsons Legos. Dennis would want those who miss him to know he’s with the Lord, and is finally learning what heaven is really like after having repeatedly read and lead Bible studies on Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven. Those who know him well already know he’s singing there! Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, William and Bette; his parents-in-law, Viar and Alma Viland; and a brother, Nathan Howard. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 41 years, Ruth, of Hettinger; his sons, Wade and Kerri of Hettinger, and Derric and Amanda of Hampshire, England; grandchildren Isaac, Levi, Luke and Elijah Howard of Hettinger and Emma and Alice Howard of Hampshire, England; brothers Joel and Betsy Howard of Meridian, Idaho, Phillip of Cascade, Mont., and Jon and Cecile of Lake Worth, FL, and sister-in-law Joliene of Billings, Mont.; brothers and sisters-in-law Dave and Donna Viland of Bloomington, Minn., Reuben and Beth Viland of Valley City, N.D., Eldon and Betty Hermunslie of Wahpeton, N.D., Tom and Sue Viland of Walcott, N.D., and Tim and Evonne Viland of Wahpeton, N.D.; many nephews, nieces and great-nephews and great-nieces; and a large community of ham radio operators that he interacted with regularly. Memorial donations may be made to Trails End Ranch in Ekalaka, Mont. The Funeral Service for Dennis Howard, age 68 of Hettinger, was held at 1:30 p.m. MT, Wed., January 4, 2017 at Hettinger Lutheran Church in Hettinger, N.D. with Pastor Brad Burkhalter, officiating. Burial will be in the Hettinger Cemetery. A family service was held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Jan. 3, 2017 at the Centennial Chapel of the Evanson-Jensen Funeral Home in Hettinger. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Centennial Chapel of the Evanson-Jensen Funeral Home in Hettinger. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.evansonjensenfuneralhome.com