Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — Richard H. (Dick) Howard, 88, of Champaign died at Willowbrook, Savoy, at 8:08 p.m. Monday (July 8, 2019).

Dick was born March 3, 1931, at Oneonta, N.Y., the son of Hector H. Howard and Violet Tilyou Howard. He lived in Franklin, N.Y., throughout his early years.

He was married to Norma Kemen, his childhood sweetheart, on Jan. 31, 1953, in Franklin. She survives.

Also surviving are a daughter, Linda E. Howard, and a son, Richard E. Howard, both of Champaign; sister-in-law, Mildred Taylor Howard of Maryville, Tenn.; two nieces, Peggy Howard Denny (husband Roger) of Knoxville, Tenn., and Lynne Kemen (husband Bill Rossow) of Franklin; a nephew, Charles Howard (wife Marilyn) of Palm Bay, Fla.; and four grandnephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Professor John C. Howard of Augusta, Ga., and his daughter-in-law, Andrea Rogers Howard of Champaign.

Dick graduated from the Delaware Literary Institute and Franklin Central School, Franklin, in 1948.

He earned an AB degree with honors in natural science and mathematics from Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y., in 1952. He participated in the Colgate Glee Club and in intramural sports, and he was a member of the Theta Chi social fraternity.

During the summer of 1952, he worked for Jenkins and Hand, Geologists, prospecting for uranium in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. He also worked for the United States Geological Survey the summer of 1954 in uranium exploration on the Colorado Plateau.

Dick received an MS degree in geology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1955.

He served in the U.S. Army from January 1955 to January 1957. After basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., he was stationed at the Headquarters of the 15th AAA Grp. at Fort Banks, Winthrop, Mass., assigned to its Meteorological Section.

He then worked as a geologist for Phillips Petroleum Company in Kansas, Oklahoma and Montana.

Dick began work at the Illinois State Geological Survey in 1958 and served as head of the Oil and Gas Section from 1977 to 1984. He retired with emeritus status in 1992.

He was the author or co-author of numerous publications on oil and gas deposits and petroleum geology in the Illinois Basin.

In 1972, at a Geological Society of America symposium, Dick received the Best Paper Award and presented a related paper at Moscow University, USSR, in 1975.

In 1988, the Illinois Oil and Gas Association presented Dick with the award “Petroleum Professional of the Year” in recognition of his careerlong assistance to members of the petroleum industry and to the general public.

He was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Illinois Geological Society.

Throughout his lifetime, Dick was a supporter of efforts for social and racial justice, and he promoted ethics in the workplace. He was also well known and appreciated for his wit and keen sense of humor. He had especially enjoyed playing handball and studying archaeology, philosophy and World War II history.

Private services will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, P.O. Box 548, Montgomery, AL 36177-9621; the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, 2405 N. Shore Drive, Urbana, IL 61802; or the Franklin Free Library, 334 Main St., P.O. Box 947, Franklin, NY 13775.

Condolences may be made at

Veteran US