Obituary of Austin Thomas John Howard
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It is with profound sadness that the family of Austin Howard announces his passing on November 22, 2022, at the age of 81, in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Austin passed peacefully, surrounded by his family, holding his hand and listening to his favourite Tom Jones songs. Austin was born in Moygashel village, south of Dungannon, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, in 1941. His parents and older brother Winston moved to Liverpool, England, shortly after, where their family was completed upon the arrival of his younger siblings, Stanley, Joyce, and Stephen. Austin met Marie Chandler in the village of Knowsley, just outside of Liverpool, and they were married in 1963 at Knowsley’s St Mary’s church. Austin began his working career as a machinist/millwright before embarking on starting his family 4 years later with three daughters born between 1967 & 1969. In 1974, Austin and his young family emigrated to Canada to live first in Gimli, Manitoba and then in Long Lac, Ontario. In 1978, Austin moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta, to work for Syncrude, where he remained for most of his life and where his daughters still reside. Austin was a very hard worker and instilled a strong work ethic in his family, but he was also really good at cutting loose and having a lot of fun. Most times, he was actually the life of the party. Austin finished his Syncrude Career as a second-line leader in Extraction Mtce. before retiring to British Columbia and later returning to Fort McMurray. Austin was a bigger-than-life charismatic character with many interests. He was an avid soccer player in his younger years and a staunch Everton supporter (UK Premier soccer league). Upon moving to Canada, he became very interested in horses and decided to become a cowboy. Within a year of moving out west (to Canada), he purchased his first of many horses in 1975 and pursued this course for the next 15 years or so. Austin had a great love for the game of hockey. He was an Edmonton Oiler fan but also cheered on the local hockey teams. Austin assumed the role of the assistant coach alongside his friend Barry Gibbs for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s (AJHL) Fort McMurray Oil Barons team. This is interesting because he could not skate and had never played the game. He was probably the only AJHL coach EVER that couldn’t actually skate, which speaks to his character. Austin was a wonderful father and grandfather and was always there for his daughters and grandchildren, who will miss him dearly. Austin leaves to mourn the mother of his children, Marie Howard; his daughters, Jane Howard, Susan Fuhr, and Andrea Stromsmoe (Mike); his grandchildren, Brittany Coish-Fuhr, Sarah Fuhr, Kyle Howard, Kaden Fuhr, Brody Stromsmoe, Josh Howard, and Summer Stromsmoe; his great-grandchildren Emma and Easton Coish-Fuhr; his extended family in England and eastern Canada/US, and his many friends made over the years. Austin was pre-deceased by his parents, Thomas and Margaret Howard, his sister Joyce Brown, his brother Stanley Howard, and his good friends Reno Restoule, David Crank, and Gerry & Edith Batten. A heartfelt thank you to the Willow Square Continuing Center staff, Robert Anderson, Dr. John O’Connor and the medical staff at the Fort McMurray hospital for their love and care for Austin. Austin’s family would also like to reach out to Brian and Gale Snook to thank them for the palliative hospital room they were pivotal in obtaining, as this was where the family spent a lot of time in their Dad’s last hours. Thank you for making an awful situation more bearable and comfortable. And finally, the family would like to thank Tracey Batten for helping them through a very difficult time by walking through everything that needed to be done, assisting the family in general, and spending time with Austin in the months before he passed along with her parents Gerry and Edith Batten. You all made his last months so much more enjoyable, and we will be forever grateful. At Austin’s request, there will be no funeral or services; however, online condolences and memories can be emailed to the family using the following email address: Justjanehoward@gmail.com RIP, Dad and Poppy.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Austin
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Robert Anderson Funeral Service, Inc.
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1941 - 2022
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Funeral Services, Inc.
115-190 MacAlpine Crescent
Fort McMurray, AB
P: (780) 790-1220
F: (780) 790-9199