Robert Howes, 76, Was Engineer, Navy Veteran

Robert C. Howes of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Black Butte Ranch, Ore., died Oct. 24 after a lengthy bout with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 76.

Mr. Howes was born April 26, 1927 in New Bedford the son of Theodore C. Howes and Nellie (Johnson) Howes. When he was eight years old, the family moved to Martha's Vineyard where he spent the rest of his boyhood years and attended Tisbury schools.

For his last three years of high school, Mr. Howes attended the Hoosac School, an Episcopal preparatory boarding school for boys (now coed) in Hoosick, N.Y. At Hoosac he participated in many school sports including football, hockey, tennis and fencing. He was deeply involved in student government positions of leadership and served as senior prefect and chairman of the student council in his senior year.

He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in World War II and was on one of the first ships to enter Tokyo Bay at the end of the hostilities with Japan. He attended Navy electronics school in Hawaii and later was responsible for maintaining the radar equipment on his ship, the USS Benner, DD 807.

Mr. Howes met his wife, Rosemary (Varden) Howes at Washington University in St. Louis. He was graduated in 1951 with a degree in architectural engineering. Upon graduation he took a job with Currie Engineering Company of San Bernardino, Calif., as a field engineer doing surveying and construction inspection. After two years with Currie, he was hired as assistant to the city engineer of El Cajon in San Diego. In June 1956, he obtained his professional civil engineer license and was promoted to city engineer, a position he held until 1961. He held the position of city engineer for Garden Grove, (Orange County) Calif., in 1963 and was promoted to development services director in 1968. In April 1973, Mr. Howes became chief engineer of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, the real estate arm of the Santa Fe Railroad, involved in industrial land development. In 1982, he moved to the railroad side, performing designs for major fueling and repair facilities as well being involved in environmental duties. In the mid-eighties, he became chief design engineer for the City of Santa Ana, Calif., from which he retired in September 1989.

Mr. and Mrs. Howes lived in El Cajon before moving to Garden Grove in 1962 where they lived for 32 years. In 1994, he and his wife, Rosemary, made their winter home in Half Moon Bay, Calif., spending the summer months at their home in Black Butte Ranch, Ore.

In midlife, Mr. Howes embarked on a spiritual/religious journey which also included the study of Jungian psychology. This quest continued for the remainder of his life and inspired him to write poetry and some memoirs. An almost-lifelong Episcopalian, he was active in the churches where he lived, serving on the vestry on two different occasions. He and his wife were also active in Episcopal Marriage Encounter for several years and in CFO (Camps Farthest Out), a Christian retreat program of international scope. He was also deeply involved with C.G. Jung Club of Orange County.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; a daughter, Penelope Klabunde of Medford, Ore.; and a son, Nicholas, of Fresno, Calif. He is also survived by his siblings, Mary Bourgault of Hampstead, N.C.; Dora Edwards of Tucson, Ariz.; Richard Howes and Theodore Howes Jr. of King of Prussia, Pa.; Martha Doane of West Tisbury, and five grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at Holy Family Episcopal Church in Half Moon Bay at 1 p.m. on Nov. 22. In lieu of flowers the family requests gifts be made to The Rev. M.B. Wood Foundation (scholarship fund of Mr. Howes' alma mater) c/o Hoosac School, P.O. Box 9, Hoosick, NY 12089, or to Holy Family Episcopal Church, 1590 Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019.