Edward S. Howle, of Hillsborough, N.C., died May 18, 2023.
Six called him Dad. Seven called him Grandpa Ed or Papa. One called him Great-Grandpa Ed. Two called him husband (but not at the same time). Two called him brother. Six called him uncle. Others called him brother-in-law. Several called him cousin. Many called him friend and colleague. Along the way he was also called Eddie Boy, Lieutenant, Professor, Doctor, Captain and Boss. All called him an inspiration.
Ed Howle, ne. Edward Samuel Howle was born and raised in Darlington, S. Carolina. When he was ten, the family moved from the big city of 5,000 to a nine hundred acre farm nearby. He stayed and played until he went to the really big city of Charleston and to the Citadel for undergraduate studies. Following graduation with the class of 1956, he became an officer in the 78th Army Artillery (which he didn’t like) and spent two years in Germany (which he did like).
Returning from Germany, he attended graduate school in Economics at University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill. Married, had three children and moved to teach at Indiana University. He was enticed back to UNC-CH (when the ground was covered by slushy snow in Indiana) as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and finally as Associate Professor of Economics. (Not one to enjoy being in front of a group, he never liked teaching.)
The next move was to marry again, adopt three children, and start a business, designing and manufacturing mobility and seating equipment for children with neuromuscular disabilities. (Turns out he had exceptional skills in geometry and design.) The Posture Control Walker remains the standard of care around the world.
Somewhere along the line he decided (with his wife’s reluctant agreement) to move to Paris with the youngest two boys. While the plan was to stay one year, it morphed into five. He found his soul in France.
Then there were his hobbies. Blue water sailing first. He crossed the Atlantic on a sailboat in 1971 and continued to sail the Bahamas and Caribbean after that, usually with family (but not all at the same time) on board.
Returning from Paris, he began participating in vintage car endurance rallies, including one in 2011 around the world. Others took him to South America, Australia, India, Europe, and several across North America including a jaunt to the Arctic Circle mostly while driving a 1967 VW Beetle.
This does not begin to convey the essence of the man with a life well-lived and a role model for many. Parkinson’s disease finally slowed him down but not before he had travelled much of the world leaving positive impressions on a diverse group of lifelong friends. He is gone from our sight, but will forever live in our hearts.