Ronald E. Howard, 83, of Mount Vernon, Illinois passed away peacefully on September 19, 2021 at home with family by his side after a battle with metastatic melanoma.
Ronnie never shared his illness with others and he continued to live life to the fullest until the end. He was born April 8, 1938 to Charles and Delores Howard. He was married on September 19, 1959 (sixty-two years to the day of his passing) to the love of his life, Sharon (Kern) Howard.They were blessed with almost sixty years, of marriage before she preceded him in death on January 26, 2019.
Ronnie lost his life partner and best friend.Ronald is survived by his daughter, Brenda (Carey) Ogborn of Zionsville, Indiana and his son, Brent Howard of Mount Vernon, Illinois; grandchildren, Natalie (Mike) Lin of Carmel, Indiana; Drew Ogborn (fiancee, Megan Banta) of Eugene, Oregon, and Jaime Howard of Sims, Illinois; great-grandchildren, Connor Lin and Audrey Lin of Carmel, Indiana, Madalynn Howard and Maliyah Harris of Sims, Illinois; his brother, Larry Howard of Mount Vernon, Illinois; uncle, Gerald (Ann) Howard of Mount Vernon, Illinois; cousin, Judy (Lowell) Mendenall of Olive Branch, Illinois; sister-in-law, Patti (Bill) Causer of Mount Vernon, Illinois; niece, Lisa (David) Leggans of Mount Vernon, Illinois; nephews, Mark Causer of Belleville, Illinois; and other extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon; his parents; and parents-in-law, Ellsworth and Anna Bernice Kern. Ronnie lived in Mount Vernon his entire life.
He graduated from Mount Vernon Township High School in 1956. He often shared his wonderful memories of growing up here in the 1940s and the 1950s including working at his parents restaurant, Howard’s Drive Inn on North Salem Road, when he was a young teenager.
He loved working at the movie theater, attending sporting events, hanging out at the Sub with his class mates, and working hard during the summers in northern Illinois in the fields “pitching peas”. He also enjoyed spending time in Tamms, Illinois with his extended family and recalled he would ride the train to Tamms by himself as a young boy. Ronnie always said the best day of his life was when a girl named Sharon Kern asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance in high school and they were married after high school graduation.
He attended Southern Illinois University and was close to graduating when he left college to work full time in anticipation of the birth of his first child. Ronnie was a supervisor at Mount Vernon Neon Sign Company and retired after forty-four years. He loved his retirement on the lake which he described as his “piece of Heaven on earth”. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals Fan, Blues hockey fan, and an Indiana University due to Natalie and Drew being alumni. On of his greatest joys was listening to the Cardinals game while rocking on his deck. Through the years, Ronnie was a member of many different social organizations including the Moose Lodge, Elks, AmVets, and the SPortman’s Club.
He loved his wide circle of friends, any he’d had since grade school. Ronnie was always ready to go and have a good time!!Ronnie and Sharon loved traveling the world together through Sharon’s position as a travel agent at Holiday Travel. Travels included many cruises through Caribbean, Bahamas, Mediterranean, Norway , and Tahiti, touring holy lands, Hawaii, and Europe.
They vacationed every year in Mrytle Beach, South Carolina which Ronnie described as “the best walking beach in the world”.In recent year, Ronnie began attending several local churches and rotated his attendance each week at a different church. He enjoyed the different pastors and their messages and spoke fondly of the congregants in each church who welcomed him. Ronnie will be dearly missed by his family, his good friends, and all who loved him.
A Visitation will be held Friday, September 24, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Illinois. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:00 am at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Interment will follow at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois. Memorials may be made in Ronald’s honor to any local church of your choice or Angels on Assignment. Call Hughey Funeral Home at 618-242-3348 or visit hugheyfh.com for further information.