Howard Kasman, 66, passed away suddenly in Gainesville, Florida on Monday August 6th. He was born to Ralph and Marcia Kasman on July 29, 1952 in Philadelphia, PA. Howard graduated from Rider College and was the Director of Billing Services at Dow Jones and Company for 29 years. He was a champion Powerlifter, Boy Scout Leader, Funeral Coordinator for the Warriors Watch Riders of SEPA, member of A Hero’s Welcome, both organizations supporting deploying and returning veterans. He enjoyed camping, motorcycle riding, fishing, kayaking, bargain hunting and spending time with family and friends. His family was his pride and joy. He was especially proud of his son Andrew, daughter-law Becky and granddaughter Taylor Grace. Howard is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Laura Susan Kasman of Langhorne, PA; son, Andrew J. R. (Rebecca Rose) and granddaughter Taylor Grace Kasman of San Ramon, CA; sister, Sandy (David Fell) Kasman of Hilo, HI; mother-in-law, Sara Jane Arniel of West Chester, PA; sister-in-law, Lynn Ella (Tom) Domasinsky of Langhorne, PA and sister-in-law Linda Arniel (Jim) Sadowski of Romansville, PA along with 4 nieces and 1 nephew. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. A memorial dinner will be held Tuesday August 14th at the Middletown Country Club,
420 N Bellevue Ave Langhorne, PA 19047 from 6-9 pm. All family and friends are welcome to come in casual dress and share a meal, a drink, and a memory of Howard. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wounded Warrior Project or the Veterans support group of your choice.
What can I say about Howard that others might not say? I knew him for all of his life. His father and my mother were brother and sister, so we were first cousins. Our families lived somewhat near each other, NYC and Levittown, PA, and we got together several times a year – always for Thanksgiving, always for Christmas to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday, probably once in the spring and once in the summer. Plus Bar Mitzvas, weddings and, later in life, assorted passings.
We rotated our get-togethers among NYC, PA and Trenton, where grandma and grandpa lived. Visits to PA always involved something interesting – a trip to the Walker-Gordon Rotolactor where we learned about the modern methods of milking cows, a trip to the Snipes berry farm, although I don’t think we ever brought any berries home, ice cream at where exactly – Greenwood Dairies? I just remember our grinning faces covered in chocolate. Sometimes we’d meet in Trenton. Then the activity was always a walk along the canal to see and feed the ducks, a visit to the Shakey Bridge to wobble across a miniature suspension bridge, over a small stream. A visit to the water treatment plant! We were thrilled to edge out, so carefully, then walk across the cat-walk above the open tanks, filled with roiling water. Each of us screamed in delight. What an adventure!
Howard got into body building. Man, he was strong! He had a photo of a meet where he lifted what looked – to me, anyway – like a steel bar with a Volkswagen on each end. I remember all his trophies and his excitement in telling me about his training regimen. And the difference between lifting heavy weights and doing lots of reps. He was passionate about it.
He was the only person I ever knew who had a duck for a pet. Really. (Although I have since learned that Laura also had a pet duck. Seems certain people were destined to be together. And then I learned that son Andrew’s wife Becky had a pet duck. There’s something truly strange going on in that family.)
He told the worst jokes. Absolutely the worst. But you laughed. Every time. Because he laughed… and it was infectious.
• If you’re American when you go into the bathroom / and American when you come out / what are you in the bathroom? / European.
• What do you call a nun in a wheelchair? Virgin mobile!
• An amnesiac walks into a bar. / He goes up to a beautiful blonde and says, “So, do I come here often?”
• A screwdriver walks into a bar. / The bartender says, “Hey, we have a drink named after you!” / The screwdriver says, “You have a drink named Philip??”
I don’t know if Howard ever told any of those,… but he could have. Just terrible.
He would give you the clothes off his back. In fact, he would give you his back, as well. When Leslie and I were moving Aunt Dorothy from Manhattan to Massachusetts, we had 24 hours to sort and pack her apartment. An impossible task, I assure you, for a brigade of workers. At a total loss for how to get it done, we called Howard. He showed up, driving in from Pennsylvania, with a friend. We worked 18 hours and got Dorothy packed and then he went home. An offer of even staying the night was politely turned down – he had his family to get back to, things to do, he had commitments.
This was his life. Before “service” was a thing, he did it. Before “love thy neighbor” was actually practiced anywhere other than the bible, he actually loved his neighbors.
He helped everyone. He was the original – and the best – good guy.
And so I say to you, “Howard, wherever you’re going… they’ll be very happy to see you.”
And, speaking for Howard, to Laura, if I can quote A. A. Milne writing as Christopher Robin, "One thing you should know, no matter where I go, we'll always be together."
Rest in peace, cousin.
Howard, at age 7, and me (cousin Jay) share a roller coaster. He is the happy one. It seemed that he was always happy.