Bill and Margaret Howard
Bill and Margaret Howard shared a life that valued public service, integrity and hard work.
Bill and Marg both served with the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War. Upon his return to Canada, Bill joined the King's Own Calgary Regiment as a reservist. He served in the armed forces in many roles for the next five decades, but perhaps most proudly as Honourary Colonel of the King's Own Calgary Regiment.
Bill and Margaret were both born and raised in Calgary. Bill completed high school at Western Canada High, while Marg went to Crescent Heights before attending the University of Alberta. Bill and Marg both served with the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II.
Bill received his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1941, and received his commission as an officer in the Canadian Army in January, 1942. During the war Bill served with the 31st Alberta Reconnaissance Regiment and overseas with the Judge Advocate General’s office in Canada and the U.K.
On returning to Canada he joined The King’s Own Calgary Regiment as a reservist. He served the armed forces in many roles for the next five decades. He was Founding Governor and past Colonel Commandant of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, past president of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association and, perhaps most proudly, past Honorary Colonel of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment.
He was Commander of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Vimy Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to defence and security and preservation of democratic values.
Marg received her commission as an officer in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1943. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics from the University of Alberta and interned at the Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital. During the war she served with the Royal Canadian Army Corps as a hospital dietician. She also worked as a dietician at the Holy Cross and Colonel Belcher hospitals in Calgary.
Bill and Marg were married in 1950. For more than fifty years they worked together to raise a family and make a difference on the larger stage. Bill was a founding partner of the law firm of Howard Mackie, and rose to the rank of Major General (Chief of Reserves), past president of the Calgary Bar association and a founder of the Law School at the University of Calgary. He was also chairman of the Calgary Police Commission and chairman and National Governor of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.
Bill had a lifetime commitment to, and respect for, what he called “the rank and file”. He could be a gregarious host and was known for his ability to operate with very little sleep and for having what could be an intimidating presence. Indeed, one of his daughter’s friends once asked if he ate helicopters for breakfast.
Marg handled most of the responsibility of raising four children and served the community through various non-profit organizations. Marg had a welcoming personality full of intelligence, hospitality and humour that put everyone at ease.
She loved long walks, nature and family time and served the community for many years through the Junior League and UNICEF. As she shouldered most of the parenting responsibilities, she could provide both support and tough love as required. She was a wonderful listener and counsellor for her children until she thought they were descending into self-pity. At that point a kid could expect a curt “oh you’ll be all right”.
In their later years, Bill and Marg’s greatest enjoyment came in visiting with family, especially their five grandchildren. There was nothing they liked better than a large, chaotic family gathering, good food, red wine, and feisty conversation.