Richard G. “Rick” Howard, age 58 of Savanna, Illinois, died on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at FHN Memorial Hospital, Freeport, Illinois. A Private Family Funeral Service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, located at the intersection of Seven Hills Road and Wacker Road, rural Mount Carroll, Illinois. A Public Visitation will be held from 9:30-11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church. Burial will take place in Spring Lake Cemetery, Savanna. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
Rick was born on August 22, 1953, the son of Earl and Mary (Kirkendall) Howard, Jr. in Falls City, Nebraska. He was raised in Nebraska and graduated from Southeast Consolidated High School with the Class of 1971. Rick received his degree in Telecommunications in Des Moines, Iowa in 1973 and began working for the Milwaukee Railroad later that year. Rick married Bonnie J. Green on September 19, 1992 in Savanna, Illinois.
Rick worked as a Telecommunications Specialist for the railroad for over twenty-five years. Retirement allowed more time for farming. Rick farmed hundreds of acres in the area and he always kept farming close to his heart. Rick liked watching football and baseball and really enjoyed playing softball in his younger years. Rick never turned down an opportunity to play cards, especially Euchre. Rick was a member of the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, the Savanna Township Board, and the Savanna Moose Lodge. Friends and family will remember Rick as a selfless individual who always put their needs before his own. Most of all, Rick treasured spending time with his family and friends.
Rick will be dearly missed by his wife, Bonnie of Savanna; four children, Karen (Tom) Ehlers of Mount Carroll, Heather (Ryan) Picolotti of Sycamore, Illinois, Kristine (Bob) Kallemeyn of Thomson, Illinois and Todd (Laura) Howard of Thomson; ten grandchildren, Tessa, Haley and Cameron Ehlers, Morgan, Payton and Preston Picolotti, Andrew and Allison Kallemeyn and Levi and Austin Howard; his mother, Mary Howard of Barada, Nebraska; two brothers, Jerry (Barb) Howard of Barada, Nebraska and Bob (Sheri) Howard of Falls City, Nebraska; one sister, Robin (Les) Gossman of Stella, Nebraska and one half-sister, Ellen Howard of Shubert, Nebraska.
Rick was preceded in death by his father, Earl; an older brother, Terry; and one infant sister, Nancy.