Kenneth M Howard
1927 ~ 2014

Kenneth 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 ended.

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). J

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 Association.

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.

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