June 23, 1942 – January 30, 2019
A gentle and compassionate soul, Howard was born to Kelleth and Elna Bushnell in Salt Lake City, Utah. He grew up with sisters Joanne (Perry), Eileen (Bill), and brother Jack (Wanda). He had three sons and a daughter: Gregory, Matt, Jason and Erin, and helped to raise a step daughter and step son: Gabriella and Derek.
He loved and cherished his grandchildren, Connor, Tyler and Emma. He was married three times; Patricia, Kaayla and Emmie. After their marriage ended, Kaayla and Howard became close friends often watching out for each other for most of their lives. He had several other loves in his life, Chris being one of the closest.
He lived a normal childhood, carrying buckets of coal to school and helping to build the state capitol one summer. He loved his summer in Manti playing at the family Homestead. At the age of 24, he was drafted into the Vietnam war where he earned two Purple Hearts.
After an honorable discharge, he immigrated to Canada and began a semi nomadic life across the country with his then-wife Kaayla. He had a zest to travel but rather than visit places he tended to move there. This nomadic life would take him to many places across Canada and the U.S. He eventually tired moving and returned to Salt Lake City. After a few years he missed the Pacific Northwest and two of his still growing children. He settled in Point Roberts living there for 17 years until, tired of cooking and cleaning for himself, he found happiness in Bellingham.
From an early age Howard had a loving connection to young children. Any time he got a letter, a phone call or a visit from a grandchild his eyes would light up. He was gifted at bringing out laughter and smiles. He was very musical, loving jazz, playing guitar and then trombone in a community band. He had a genius level IQ and was an avid reader and crossword puzzle player. He worked in accounting, sales, shipping, wardrobe manager and even a reporter for a newspaper where he learned from an editor that “kid” did not work in the sentence, “Get off my lawn, you darn kids.” Turns out billy goats don’t understand English.
Howard touched many lives – he was a charming man who left his mark. He was always willing to help people for nothing more than a thank you. Dogs and cats were his best friends, as was any coffee shop open before 6 a.m. If you have a sweet roll ready, you had a customer for life.
Instead of flowers, please plant a plant in Howard’s name, go start a conversation with a stranger or give a dog a biscuit.
He will be missed by many relatives and friends but will be in our hearts forever
A celebration of life was held from 2 to 4 p.m. on February 16 at Solstice Senior Living at Bellingham. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on February 23 at Maple Beach, Point Roberts, Alder and Bay View Drive (at the beach), weather dependent.
A reception will be held after the celebration of life at Ron Swalling’s house, 415 Boundary Bay Road, Point Roberts.
If you would like to contact the family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.