In Remembrance: William Emerson White Howe ’41 Died on November 13 2013

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, William Emerson White Howe (“Bill”) died peacefully at home in Washington from sequelae of prostate cancer, in his 94th year.  He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 5, 1920, the son of Edmund Grant Howe II (YC class of 1906) and Eleanor Louise White.  

Bill was a graduate of Deerfield Academy and of Yale, class of 1941 (Calhoun College).  He was predeceased by his wife of over 64 years, Mary Louise (Hixon) Howe; his brother, Daniel Robinson Howe II (YC class of 1936); and his grandson, Jonathan William Howe. He is survived by three children (and their spouses): William Clay Howe ’68, ’77MA, ’79MPhil  (Simone Germann ’76PA) of Durham, Connecticut; Eleanor Cameron Howe (Bernie Gerard Adams Jr.) of Germantown, Maryland; and Robert Collins Howe ’79 (Liana Zalamea) of Honolulu, Hawaii. Also surviving are four grandchildren: Natalie ’01, Caroline ’07, Brody (William Broderick), and Raffy (Daniel Rafferty); two nephews: Randy (Edmund Grant) Howe III ’66 (Natali Moskochenko) and Ed Hixon (Twila); and two nieces: Penelope Lee (Howe) Long and Ruby (Hixon) Raasch. 

After graduation from Yale, Bill studied electronic engineering in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before moving to Washington in 1942 where he started to work at the Naval Research Lab in electronic warfare. During World War II, he fought the “Battle of the Potomac,” as he liked to say, and was a lieutenant commander in the naval reserves.  He obtained an MS in electronics from Georgetown University and was a 1963 graduate of the National War College. In the 1960s, Bill began working for the army department, retiring in 1974 as scientific advisor to the assistant chief of staff for intelligence. After formal retirement, he continued to work for over 25 years as a consultant for the Department of Defense. His work included ­development of radar and sonar technologies, as well as electronic counter-measures and collaboration on the “Poppy” intelligence satellite program beginning in 1962.  

Bill and Mary Louise were avid travelers and their home in northwest Washington was always open to friends, relatives, and guests from around the world.

Bill attended a few games in the Yale Bowl after graduation, but his formative years were spent in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in the shadow of Bryant Denny Stadium, and he was a stalwart fan of the “Crimson Tide” of the University of Alabama and the Cincinnati Reds, at the time the closest major league team to Alabama.  He was also a serious amateur tennis player.

—Submitted by the family


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