Christopher (Chris) C. Howard
The Adventure of Chris began in Cleveland, OH on April 5, 1944, but he grew up in South Lyon, MI, a town so small the mayor had to annex property to eat a foot-long hot dog. He attended Michigan State University where he very smartly fell in love with another School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management student, Mary Dorner, who, in addition to being his loving wife for 55 years, saved his young butt academically thus enabling him to earn his degree. As an undergrad, Chris proudly became a Brother in the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He later received his MBA, also from Michigan state, and on June 18, 1966, wed his love, Mary.
Chris began his career with General Foods in Detroit, MI, then Toledo, OH and finally in White Plains, NY. In 1974 he made the excellent decision to join Ore Ida Foods in Boise, ID. He quickly followed that wise decision with a horrible decision to load Mary, and his son Sean, then 4, and Kristi, then 1, into the family blue and brown wood paneled station wagon and drive 2512 miles from Connecticut to Idaho. When Mary contracted horrible food poisoning that put her in the hospital for three days mid-journey, Chris cared lovingly for their toddler children alone and openly questioned the wisdom, or lack thereof, of a cross-country self-move.
In Boise, Chris immediately took to the Western lifestyle by acquiring a 1976 GMC Jimmy truck, a black custom fit cowboy hat and an all-the-rage CB radio (thanks Smokey and the Bandit!) where he went by the handle “Big Bird”. In Boise he developed lifelong friendships that helped create the story of his and Mary’s life to this day. He is forever deeply grateful for their enduring fellowship, fun and support.
In 1985, Chris professionally traded potatoes for trout as he took the job as the Director of Marketing with Clear Springs Foods in Buhl, ID where he stayed for 26 years until he retired.
In his spare time, he pursued what would become a lifelong frustration of ruining a perfectly good walk…otherwise known as golf. Chris loved playing at the beautiful Blue Lakes Country Club and was part of a loyal crew that played every Saturday. While golf provided endless frustration and opportunities to work on humility, he shot two hole-in-ones…one, fortuitously, while golfing with his beloved granddaughter, Brooke. Chris also enjoyed camping at Idaho’s breathtaking Redfish Lake when his kids were young, and then again with his daughter and adored granddaughter Rayne. He loved reading adventure, spy and mystery novels, sampling exceptional cuisine during his travels around the globe, and entertaining friends and playing bartender at various parties throughout his life.
He is survived by his wife Mary, son Sean Howard (Bridget Baiss Howard), daughter Kris Woodruff (Dustin Woodruff) and granddaughters Rayne Woodruff & Brooke Howard. He was preceded in death by his parents Bob & Betty Howard, his sister Georgeann Swope, and billions of people throughout history.
Chris passed peacefully on Tuesday September 28th surrounded by his family. He will be remembered by all as a kind and gentle man with a big heart, warm laugh, and calming presence.
In lieu of flowers a donation to the American Stroke Association is recommended. The family wishes to thank Hospice Visions and The Canyons Retirement Community for their kindness and compassion in caring for Chris during his final days. Cremation will be done at Rosenau Funeral Home and a Celebration of Life will be held next summer.