William (Will) Paul Howard, 76, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, February 17, 2024, after a prolonged illness. He was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Mary Howard. He is survived by his wife, Susan Arlene (Hover) Howard, son Matthew William Howard, and siblings John Howard, Connie (Howard) Gross, Tim Howard, and CeCe (Howard) McGuiness, as well as numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Will was born August 2, 1947, in Kansas City, MO, his lifelong home.  He attended Bishop Hogan and Southwest High Schools. He went on to earn his GED, an Associates Degree from the Metropolitan Community Colleges, and a Bachelor of Arts from Ottawa University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He was a Professional Member of the Missouri Addictions Counselors Association.

He enlisted in the United States Army in 1966, first serving with the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard. He served a tour in Vietnam from 1967-1968 with the 9th Infantry Division, achieving the rank of SP5 as an artillery sight repairman. He was Honorably Discharged in 1969.

Will wore many hats throughout his professional career: soldier, jeweler, certified substance abuse counselor, assistant to the director of the Kansas City Rescue Mission (Shelter KC) and Commissioned Lay Pastor of St. Matthew Presbyterian Church before entering full retirement.

He married the love of his life Susan on October 3, 1987, and they were married for 36 years until his passing. Together they brought their beloved son Matthew into the world on September 13, 1989.

He had many hobbies that expressed his creativity and left a lasting legacy. He was a self-taught musician who played bass, Irish flute, and mandolin. As a craftsman, he carved his own Irish flutes and fashioned cigar-box banjos. He took a course in sound engineering and recording from Chapman Recording Studio and produced albums and recordings of live performances for local musicians. Will and his wife Susan, a singer songwriter, produced several albums together in the late 80s and early 90s. He was also a painter, using watercolors to capture beautiful landscapes—often based on his photographs. His greatest love was photography, at which he excelled, capturing poignant photographs through the years. He received honors for a photo taken in Vietnam displayed in an exhibition at the Springfield Museum of Art. He was also a published author, writing about his war experiences.

Will’s Celebration of Life will be Sunday, March 10, 3:00 p.m. at the South-Broadland Presbyterian Church, 7850 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64131. Interment will be at a later date at the Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Contributions in Will’s memory may be made to Bomb Techs Without Borders. This small but capable international non-profit is dedicated to removing explosive remnants of war from the world. They have been providing training and assistance to Ukrainian explosive clearance agencies since 2022 and publish free guides and references in use by bomb technicians around the globe. It was founded by Will’s son Matthew, of whom he was justifiably proud. (www.btwob.org)

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