Richard E. Howland, 69, affectionately known by Rick, joined his Lord in Heaven, on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Bend after a short illness. He was surrounded by his soulmate Sylvia Rosandich, her daughter Heidi Grande, and dear friends Gene Thomas, and Don and Sharon Liddycoat.
Rick was born on Feb. 27, 1950, in Alturas, Calif. His family moved to Red Bluff, Calif. in 1961. He graduated from Red Bluff High School in 1968, and attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. for one semester. Rick enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1969, and was honorably discharged in January 1973, followed by two years in the reserves. His naval training was at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard in San Francisco, in March 1969, in basic seamanship, firefighting, hull technician including welding, sheet metal fabrication, pipe fitting, and damage control management for wartime situations. He served on the USS Ranger (CVA-61) air- craft carrier in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. During his career he was a ship fitter, fireman apprentice E2, third class petty officer E4, second class petty officer E5, and first-class petty officer E6. Rick was proud to have served his country and received the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Military Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Military Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.
Following his naval service, Rick worked as a journeyman welder at Merrill Machine and Welding in Merrill from January 1973 to 1976. While working he enrolled at Oregon Institute of Technology from 1974 to 1976 and received an Associate Degree in Machining and Welding Technology. Following graduation, Rick went to work at Klamath Iron Works in Klamath Falls as a journey machinist and welder. He was also a member in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Rick moved to Lakeview in 1979 where he operated and owned for 20 years Iron Horse Machine and Welding, later adding Iron Horse Muffler and Brake. Also during this time he drew wildlife art, created and sold metal artwork and western furniture. He sold his business and moved back to Klamath Falls when the lumber mills closed because of the state’s decision to protect the spotted owl.
After moving back to Klamath Falls, Rick operated a shop out of his home. He continued to create and sell his artwork, paintings and was proud to have created and drew Mountain Goddess Unplugged. He traveled the western United States selling his creations. During this time he taught for Klamath Community College at Oregon Institute of Technology for 20 years starting with community education and then moved to teaching credit classes in welding and blueprint. He had a passion for teaching his welding students until his passing.
Rick was an avid outdoorsman, especially fly fishing, snow skiing, hunting, horseback riding, and feeding wild birds. He started fishing and tied his own flies when he was a young man. Rick skied all over the western U.S., learned to ride a horse in Alturas as a young boy, and hunted deer, elk, and birds. Rick spent many days in the Gearhart Wilderness and Steen’s Wilderness. In spring of 2014 he moved his shop to the Langell Valley area near Bonanza to be with Sylvia Rosandich. During any spare time you would find Rick and Sylvia somewhere fishing. Rick fulfilled his teenage dream by owning a 20-foot fishing boat.
He was preceded in death by: his father, Tag Howland.
He is survived by: his soulmate Sylvia Rosandich and her three children; his three children. Jesse Howland, Keith (Howland) Young, and Erin (Howland) Young; mother, Mary Lou Howland; brother and sister-in-law, Merl and Carol Howland; sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Walt Hammerich; several nieces and nephews; his longtime friends, Gene and Linda Thomas and Don and Sharon Liddycoat; his beloved lab, Josie; and horse, Slick.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the South Poe Valley Grange, 21999 South Poe Valley Rd., Klamath Falls, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 4 to 8 p.m. Catered dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Please come to celebrate Rick’s life and share your stories.