Born: August 12, 1932
Died: February 14, 2013
Robert Lee "Bob" Howald, 80, of Ft. Worth, Texas formerly of Macomb, Illinois, passed away Thursday Feb. 14, 2013 in Ft. Worth Texas.
Bob Howald was born Aug. 12, 1932, in Macomb, Ill., to parents Helen and Ray Howald. He often recalled working after school and summers in his father's restaurant, taking meals with his hardworking parents and brother Bill "in the far back booth." As a result, Bob was, by nature, both a diligent, loyal employee wherever he worked, but also a self-appointed authority and critic of cafes and restaurants, measuring the quality of food and service offered against the high standards of Howald's Cafe, "On your good food route."
Throughout his career, spent largely in behind-the-scenes production management roles in the Fort Worth advertising community, Bob earned a reputation for thoroughness and excellence, as much as for his thoughtfulness, selflessness, and generous spirit, becoming himself "a legendary figure in ad biz," the way he often referred to the advertising veterans he worked alongside.
Bob had a modest, gentle charm - a gentlemanly, courteous, old school way of doing any task, any job that earned the respect, admiration and genuine love of all who were fortunate to know him.
Perhaps his most widely known and endearing, enduring quirk of personality was his almost reflexive habit of ending each phrase and sentence in conversation with two words: "and everything."
He attended Western Illinois State College in Macomb, before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1952, during the Korean War. For much of his U.S. Air Force service, he was stationed in the Philippines and Hawaii; he was honorably discharged in 1956.
On his return to Illinois, he enrolled at Southern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism in 1961.
Having been impressed with the city he saw through a train window years before, Bob applied for and was accepted for a position at Leonard's Department Store in downtown Fort Worth, where he worked in the bustling advertising department of the venerable store during its heyday.
He rose to assistant manager of the advertising department before leaving Leonard's to join Goodman & Associates, advertising and public relations, as production manager, before accepting the same position at Witherspoon & Associates in May 1969.
Named a vice president at the agency, Bob remained employed at Witherspoon until June 2002, marking more than 30 years there. But he kept his business cards ready and, over the next five years, happily assisted with special projects at the city's oldest agency.
Despite his passion for travel and his service in the Air Force, Bob was afraid to fly. But his fear allowed him to discover much of the country by car and train. He enjoyed visiting museums and attending music festivals and concerts of every kind throughout the country, and he neatly recorded every detail, every meal, every beautiful vista discovered along his way in little, spiral notebooks.
Bob had a remarkable memory and was an ardent, lifelong student, especially of the broad, diverse catalog of classical music and its composers. He kept Dallas radio station WRR tuned in at work and by his bedside.
Each Sunday, he faithfully read The New York Times, front to back, especially poring over obituaries of the famous and obscure printed there. He relished the demands of keeping his yard tidy. He was a devoted gardener. When "Jeopardy" was on, he was disappointed if he had to answer the door or the phone. He was a big fan of "The Simpsons."
In recent years, he volunteered at the Amon Carter Museum and at the Fort Worth Library, assisting the children's librarian at the Hulen Branch. And he was a dependable and longtime volunteer at Harris Methodist Hospital, where he manned the popcorn stand in the lobby and assisted the pastoral care staff.
He is survived by his nephews, Eric R. Howald and William M. Howald of Peoria, Ill., and their families, along with several cousins and scores of friends who will never forget him.
Graveside services will be at 11 AM Monday March 4, 2013 Oakwood Cemetery. Rev. Dr. Howard White will officiate. Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.