M Howard, our sweet "Papa," quietly left this
world on Saturday, March 29, 2014, resulting from a heart
attack three weeks prior. He joined his dear wife, Rae,
exactly 7 weeks to the day following her passing.
Ken was born on September 20, 1927 in Omaha, Nebraska to
Veda Meldrum and Henry "Sherman" Howard. Ken lived
in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Idaho during his early years.
As an only child, he was much loved by his parents and describes
his childhood as a happy one. He attended Idaho Falls High
School and acquired his pilot’s license when he was
only 17. As soon as he graduated from high school in 1945,
he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was at boot camp when WWII
While a student at BYU, Ken fell in love with the copper-haired
beauty that he met at a drinking fountain up Provo Canyon.
(She was on a date with another guy!) She couldn’t
resist the pull of those twinkly blue eyes, and after a
whirl-wind romance of four months, he married Eva Rae Geaslin
in the Salt Lake Temple on March 16, 1956. They were blessed
with 4 amazingly talented, courageous, and disarmingly attractive
children, Michael Sherman, Kenneth Scott, Dallas Raelene
(favorite daughter), and Rachel VeAnn (other favorite daughter).
Ken was a life-long student and had an insatiable appetite
for knowledge. He received a B.A. degree in Business, an
M.A. in Political Science from BYU, and completed the course
work for a PhD in Political Science at the University of
Utah and the University of Missouri, where he was a teaching
assistant. After passing a rigorous series of testing, screenings
and back ground checks, he was offered a position with the
CIA. The job would require him to move his family to South
America and so he turned the position down, and chose instead
to go into Political Science, which he taught at Emporia
State University for eight years.
In 1973, Ken and Rae founded the first Good Earth Natural
Foods in Provo, which grew into a chain of 5 stores in Utah.
The stores became more than a business to him, and over
the years he and his family became heavily involved in the
natural health movement and industry. He served on the board
for the National Nutritional Food Association and was two
times president of the Rocky Mountain Nutritional Foods
He often stated that he got paid twice through his work
in the natural food industry—by being able to provide
for his family and by the satisfaction in helping others
gain optimum health of body and mind. During the latter
part of his life, he described his retirement from the daily
operation of the stores as "moving from the mercantile
age to the information age." A book and a pad accompanied
him almost everywhere he went, and spare moments were spent
in reading and recording his thoughts and ideas.
At their 50th wedding anniversary party, Rae described
Ken as "the most knowledgeable, intelligent person
she had ever known." Ken was the consummate teacher.
He had such a passion for sharing what he learned with others.
He was an amazing conversationalist, and genuinely cared
for all that he came in contact with. This love allowed
him to communicate his vast knowledge of whatever he was
sharing without ever making you feel inferior or talked
down to. His interests included political/cultural/economic
history, philosophy, theology, national and international
politics and most importantly, BYU sports.
In addition to being a voracious researcher, Ken loved
to write. He authored three books. The Interstate to Understanding
the Alternative Health Movement highlights the differences
between natural medicine and modern medicine. Then, as the
question of water fluoridation arose in Utah, he wrote Fluoridation:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. His book The Dynamic Influence
of Christianity discussed the role of Christianity in establishing
America. Papa was also famous for dropping off essays that
he had written on various subjects to his family and friends,
and he made his rounds almost weekly. He connected with
and promoted the principles that leads us toward Abundant
Living, and has a website and newsletter by that title.
Even during his less affluent years, part of Papa’s
philosophy for living included giving support to various
political and civil movements and charities. He was an incredibly
generous man. He believed strongly in the idea that a lot
of people making a small effort or donation can accomplish
a lot of good. He lived and taught the power of incrementalism
in daily living to accomplish large goals.
An enthusiastic member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, Ken served a two and a half year mission
to Uruguay. He continued to serve in various capacities,
including stake high council, branch presidency, and district
council and presidency. Together, he and Rae served a mission
at the LDS Employment Center in American Fork, UT and as
the Provident Living specialists in their ward.
Papa is much loved and will be greatly missed by his family
and friends. He is preceded in death by his mother and father;
his dear wife Rae; his son Michael; two grandchildren, MaKenna
Humphrey and Keaton Howard; and son-in-law Arthur Berg.
He is survived by his children, K. Scott (Kimberli) Howard,
Dallas (Rich) Harris, Rachel (Todd) Humphrey; 17 grandchildren
and 2 great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way. An enlarged
family circle includes Rosemary Minervini, Carolyn (Gordon)
Casper, Renee (Phillip) Harris, and Merrill Waters.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2014 from
6:00 to 8:00 PM at The Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North
900 East in American Fork.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 4, 2014
at 11:00 AM at the Lehi 46th LDS Ward Chapel, 851 North
1200 East in Lehi, with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 AM
prior to services. Interment will be at Timpanogos Memorial
Gardens, 1000 North 400 East in Orem.
Donations in Ken's honor may be made to American Heritage
School for Keaton's Light, a perpetual program benefiting
their library by purchasing children's books. Send c/o Dallas
Harris, P.O. Box 246, American Fork, UT 84003.