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Howard Russell Rider

February 22, 2009

Howard Russell Rider



SEPT. 18, 1924-FEB. 13, 2009

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Howard Russell Rider, widowed husband of Jean Farren Shirey, passed away on Feb. 13, 2009, from a long illness in Vero Beach, Fla. He faced death as he did life with wit, humor, perspective and courage.

Howard was born Sept. 18, 1924, in Hancock, Md., son of Roscoe Roy Rider, a World War I veteran - and Florence Eliza King Rider. Roscoe Rider was well known in the Hancock area for his musical abilities, proficiency with the sousaphone and baritone and an active member of the American Allegiance Drum Corp. Howard's mother, Florence, was hard of hearing, yet successfully raised three good children, Howard, Lillian Pearl and Esther Louise, who have preceded Howard in death.

Howard's family relocated to Hagerstown, Md., in 1925, where his father was a rail man for Western Maryland Railroad and later, a machinist for Fairchild Aircraft. Both Roscoe and Florence were active at St. John's Lutheran Church, in Hagerstown.

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Howard served in World War II as a private of the 410th Construction Battalion. He was located in Camp Ellis, Ill., in 1945. Injured during his service, Howard spent many months at the AA Regional Hospital in Fort Belrior, Va. After his military service, Howard was married with two children, Vincent, and Amelia. He continued to reside in the Hagerstown area and remarried in 1954 to Jean Farren Shirey.

Howard and Jean resided in Hagerstown with four children from Jean's marriage to George Burns in 1939.

In 1955 they welcomed their fifth child and in 1958, a sixth. The family of eight was parishioners at St. John's Lutheran Church. Howard was also active in Morris Frock Legion Post 42. Howard worked as a commercial artist with Potomac Edison for most of his career. After residing in Williamsport, the couple and their children settled in Ravenwood Heights, just outside Funkstown, Md., until their retirement in 1974 to Vero Beach, where Howard worked part time as a commercial artist while Jean devoted time to support the local AA programs.

His children and friends knew Howard as a remarkably creative person, with impressive artistic talents and a memorable, clever, witty personality. He enjoyed raising his many children, gardening, the occasional cigar and had a love of good spirits.

Howard and Jean are survived by six children, Randall Burns (Linda), Keedysville, Md., Steven Burns (Debbie), Hagerstown, Sallie Roth (Bob), Baltimore, Md., David Rider (Lori), Falling Waters, W.Va., Johanna McGinnis (Tom), Littleton, Colo., Patrick Rider (Pam), Lenexa, Kan.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach, where both Howard and his beloved wife Jean spent their last days. A special thank you is extended to the Vero Beach VNA Hospice house where last days are good days.

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