John William “Bill” Howard Jr.

John William “Bill” Howard Jr.

John William “Bill” Howard Jr.

Cedar Rapids

John William “Bill” Howard Jr., 81, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed with his family by his side after a brief illness, to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories, with full military honors. A visitation will be held one hour prior, beginning at 1 p.m. at the chapel. The burial will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.

Bill was born on Nov. 4, 1941, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the first child of John W. and Dorothy Pauline Howard. He graduated from Washington Senior High School in 1960 and joined the United States Navy at the time of the Vietnam War. He served on the aircraft

carrier, USS Intrepid throughout his active duty, but also served on other ships for six years while in the Navy Reserve. Bill loved his country and was proud to serve in the Navy. Following his active-duty discharge, Bill began his career at Quaker Oats in 1967 as an oiler. He worked there for 34 years, retiring in 2001.

Bill and Bonnie Margene Jones were united in marriage on Dec. 29, 1967. They became foster parents shortly after that and cared for over 100 foster children over a span of 30 years. Bill and Margene adopted three children during that time. He and Margene enjoyed traveling across the country and camping with their children and extended family.

Bill loved horses and from an early age he rode and cared for his own horses while growing up. He also enjoyed raising calves and milking cows. During summers as a teenager, Bill took jobs cutting, baling and loading hay into barns for various farmers in the area.

Bill loved watching Hawkeye football and talking about his two favorite coaches, Evashevski and Fry. He also enjoyed Hawkeye basketball and his favorite hobby from the time he was a young boy was fishing. He caught a number of very large fish throughout the years, most of which he released. He was a staunch animal lover and protector, both wild and domestic. He and Margene had a number of dogs and cats through the years and took in numerous strays and fed all of the wildlife that regularly visited their yard.

One of the highlights of Bill’s life was spending a month in Greece with his family. He enjoyed traveling throughout the country, seeing sights, and meeting relatives in his ancestral home.

Bill was very strong in his Christian faith and that was reflected in how he interacted with others. He was a very caring and loving person and was always ready to help anybody anytime no matter what the job was. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Bill’s wife of 55 years, Margene, passed away on June 21, 2023.

He is survived by his son, Brandon Howard; two daughters, Patrice McMahan (Charles) and Danyal Morris (Brady); two sisters, Louwanna Morris (Edward) and Pamela Shafer (Scott); eight grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; three nephews and a niece; and numerous cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to a charity of your choice.

Online condolences and messages may be shared with the family at under Obituaries.

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