Thursday, November 20, 2014

Howard Farris Rhea 1919-2014

My uncle died this week and I am sad on many levels. He was a big part of my life growing up and the last living member of my father's family. As a family history fanatic, it is a big loss because he had information he took with him. As an uncle, he was always very good to me and I have fantastic memories. As a member of the human race, his loss will be felt by many. 

Howard Farris Rhea was born in 1919. He was 95 years old when he passed away. He leaves a wife of 67 years, a daughter and two sons. He had another daughter and son who left us too early. 

He was a successful attorney who, like his brothers, was a workaholic. He was a good provider and his kids benefited from his labors. He was a good husband, son, brother, and so much more. 

The photo was taken at Christmas 1962 at my grandparent's home in Billings, Montana. Standing are: Uncle Ralph and Aunt Bernice, Uncle Howard and Aunt Anne, and my dad Ernest and my mom Ruby. The front row is my cousin Gary (who passed away as a youngster at age 14), my cousin Patty, Me, my Grandpa William, my brother Marlin, my cousin Stuart, my granny Mellie, and the most adorable cousin Billy. This picture makes me smile because we had a lot of fun that year. 

Uncle Howard will now be reduced to dates. His birth date, marriage date, census dates and death date. All of those are important but the dates don't define who he was. Uncle Howard died on November 17, 2014 but he lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. So, let me show you a little about him. 

Top, at age 93 and as a baby. Below that is the three boys as kids. The bottom is camping with our family in Sequoia, middle, Howard with Aunt Anne (not sure if they were dating or married), and on the right, paying chess with my dad. There are tons of other pictures showing him in various stages in his life all of which will be posted on and other sites so he will continue to live in memory.

Today, as we get ready for Thanksgiving, I will be celebrating his life and all of the family, living or already gone because when we gather together to ask the Lord's blessing, we know we have already been blessed.

Prayer of Thanksgiving


  1. It is hard to lose that generation of the family and all their knowledge. Good to preserve his memory online like this.

  2. Ann, I was very much so touched by your post, and I am sorry to read of your loss. Yes, I agree...when we pass we are reduced to numbers more less. Your Uncle was a very blessed man to have you in his family, through you his amazing, amazing life and story will never be forgotten.