Howard was born to Fred Pahl and Charlotte Pahl (Dilk) in Chicago, IL. The family moved to Lipton, SK in the early 1930’s, where Howard and his older sisters, Betty and Virginia attended elementary school. When hordes of grasshoppers plagued Saskatchewan, Fred and ‘Lottie’ moved their family to Tenby, MB., a small hamlet near Glenella, MB. Howard graduated high school via correspondence, which was not an easy feat back then, and married Oretta Butler from Arden, MB in 1953.
In the early days, Howard’s tenacious appetite for life and many interests led him to various occupations, including company bookkeeper, Eaton’s fur department (he told stories about riding his old Harley to work year-round in Winnipeg), working on the rail line section crew, and eventually as a grain buyer for Manitoba Pool Elevators. His first position was at Dutton Siding, near Gilbert Plains. In 1956, Howard took a position in Strathclair, MB, where he remained until retirement, after 40 years. The life of a grain buyer often ended shortly after retirement, but Howard felt that, if he stayed busy, he would last a lot longer than many of his associates. He was right. While working full-time, he found time to operate painting and bee businesses, play hockey, ballroom dance, act as fire chief for 19 years, own an insurance business with Oretta, own an aerial spraying business, sell hail insurance, and serve the community through the Lion’s Club, Elks, Legion and Masons.
Howard also got his pilot’s license in 1957, and flying became a passion that never wavered. His joy was taking someone flying with him. Howard loved to do aerobatics; a true ambassador of flight, he influenced others to fly and buy airplanes of their own. This led to another passion of selling. Howard loved to sell, whether it be a refurbished car, lawn mower, utility trailer, or airplane. He was not as interested in the profit, but more in the sale, most often with the help of Swap and Shop.
Howard was a pillar of strength and resiliency and deeply loved his family, friends, and his pets. His sense of humour will be sorely missed and his antics kept us laughing for years; he was once discovered repairing his poorly-fitted dentures on a large grinder hauled into the basement, and there’s no room to talk about all the trailer ‘incidents’.
He is survived by Oretta, sisters Anette Lehman and Virginia Mercer, children Kevin (Debbie), Darcy, and Pam, grandchildren Cory, Stacey, Rhett, and Ryan, and great-grandchildren.
Our family would like to extend our deepest thanks to both Carberry homecare and Carberry Personal Care Home. Howard enjoyed his last years in the care home and always commented on the great meals and wonderful staff. We are so grateful that he was happy and healthy to his last day.
Howard’s family will celebrate his life privately. Burial will take place at a later date.
Ronald Moffit Memorial Services of Portage la Prairie, MB in care of arrangements.
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