|On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Howard Mortimer, beloved husband, father and friend passed away at the age of 79.
Howard was born on April 20, 1941 in Brady’s Bend, PA. He has been a resident of The Villages, FL for 9 years and is survived by his wife Patricia and canine companion, Mulligan.
Over the years, Howard was known as many things: an excellent hunter, accomplished writer and an inspiring educator. But most of all, he was known as a kind man of few, yet powerful words. If you were lucky enough to know Howard, you would know his humor, honest opinion and best praises. He is survived by three daughters: Lori Mortimer, Carol (John) Burnett and Kelly (Dan) Sennewald, and four grandchildren: Noah and Rachel Burnett, Ryan and Kaitlin Sennewald. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister and infant brother.
Howard and Pat spent 20 years as host parents of foreign-exchange students with AFS (American Field Service), having hosted dozens of students, it was this experience that lead to Howard’s love of travel and appreciation of new cultures. He was Manager of SEBCO Pool for over a decade. In 1988 he opened a photography studio in Saxonburg, The Photo and Art Center, capturing precious moments for high school seniors and athletes, newly wedded couples and families.
Howard spent 39 years as an English teacher at Knoch High School in Saxonburg PA, inspiring his students by example. He was chairman of the English department, organizer of the photography club, cheerleading advisor, lead negotiator of the PSEA and helped resolve several contracts for his fellow teachers. His family takes pride in the fact that he was once nominated for PA teacher of the year.
During his retirement in The Villages, Howard was integral in the startup of numerous social clubs and events, early in the development of Sanibel Central. He organized and launched the Wednesday Executive Golf League, and with his wife, he was the proclaimed Welcoming Committee to the new residents in the village of Sanibel. His community service spread to The Villages Hospital as an auxiliary volunteer with over 1,000 hours of service.
To say Howard was loved, would be an understatement. He was part of a rare breed that we only get to meet once. He will be remembered by those who knew him even if it was from an English class, a golf team, his byline in PA Game News, a swim at SEBCO Pool, a church service or story shared by his family and friends.
To quote Jack London, “the proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” Howard lived.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to consider a donation in memory of Howard’s love of animals, especially dogs, to YOUR Humane Society SPCA, P.O. Box 67 Lake Panasoffkee FL 33538. Donations can also be made online at HSSPCA.org