James Adrian Howard of Wayzata passed away in his home on March 29, 2022. Jim was born on January8th, 1930 to Elizabeth and Adrian Howard. He will be remembered by his loving family and many life-long friends around the world for his zest for life, his big smile and bigger laugh, his enduring values, and his commitment to making the world a better place.
At the center of Jim’s life was family and his wife of 69 years, Ann. Together they had 4 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, 8 grandkids and 4 great-grandkids. He was happiest when the family was all together, whether on ski trips when their kids were young, numerous family vacations as adults, or following his kids’ and grandkids’ sports and musical endeavors, attending countless games and concerts over the years.
Jim graduated from the Blake School, and then Yale in 1951. He and Ann were married in Montclair, NJ on Mar 28, 1953, just before Jim was shipped overseas as a lieutenant aboard the USS Estes. In 1955, Jim began his 37-year career with Cargill. Despite being a self-described homebody, Jim and Ann moved 7 times with the company including time in St. Louis, Chicago,New York City and Seaford. He ran Cargill’s grain business and loved the excitement of the commodity markets. Jim retired in 1992 as an Executive Vice President, and member of the Board of Directors.
While working, Jim was an active volunteer, and in retirement he felt the even stronger pull to do something meaningful in the world. He served on several boards, including Project for Pride in Living, Courage Center, and Junior Achievement. A natural teacher with a commitment to giving people the tools to help themselves, Jim taught Junior Achievement classes and ESL classes for non-English speakers. Hewas deeply involved with Wayzata Community Church during his working years and throughout retirement. A note from a friend said, “You’re a role model in general, but especially for retirees.” Generosity was a principle value for Ann and Jim, and as members of the 1% Club they gave to a wide variety of charitable organizations.
Jim had a contagious zest for life, even when dealing with a debilitating disease in his later years; he looked forward to every day. He loved to laugh, but was also well respected for his strong values, self-discipline, leadership and intellect. Jim was a huge jazz fan, an avid reader, and loved sports, especially college teams. Active well into his late 80’s, he played lots of tennis and loved to play golf.
Jim is survived by his wife Ann and daughters Deborah and Elizabeth (Thomas Sellars), grandchildren Benjamin Hitch, Charlotte (Hitch) Sciaba, (Michael Sciaba), Charles, McLane, and John Sellars, James Howard, Hans and Van Lundsgaard, and great-grandchildren Isabelle Freck, Jackson Sciaba, James Howard, and Julian Brown. He was preceded in death by daughters Joanne (Thomas Hitch) and Barbara (Wilson Lundsgaard).
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday May 28, 10:00AM at Wayzata Community Church. Reception to follow at the church. Memorials in lieu of flowers are preferred to Project for Pride in Living or The Courage Center.
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