Ronald Kirk Howard, Sr. (Ron) was born May 18, 1953, to Constance D. Howard and the late Melvin C. Howard in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Ron departed from this life suddenly Tuesday, November 6, 2018 due to complications from an illness.
Ron was educated through the Pittsburgh Public School System and was a graduate of Westinghouse High School. He was a member of Bethany Baptist Church; as a teenager, he participated in a youth group targeting Christian growth for teens (Youth for Christ). Activities included, bib study, overnight sponsored trips, Christmas caroling and evangelism.
After graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force (1971). He was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force (AFB) in Ohio where he worked in the morgue, intensive care and cardiac unit of the hospital. In 1973, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was deployed to Kunsan Air Base (AB) in Gunsan, Korea and served as a medical specialist providing care to POW's before their return to the United States. He was named Junior Airman Adviser in the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing where he was assigned to ambulance detail that met the incoming medical flights.Because of his prudence and caution in patient care, he was able to ease and alleviate some of the servicemen's fear of surgery and hospitalization. He was one of the few that had face to face contact.In 1977 he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant, with a job title of NCOIC (Non- Commission Officer in Charge) of physical exams. He managed a multi-faceted clinic and two satellite units for all military personnel at Kunsan AB. With this busy schedule, Ron managed to somehow find time to sing with the Kunsan Gospel Experience (KGE). His time in the service allowed him to travel to many different countries which enabled him to see the world.
Ron married Chin Sun Chon May 17,1978 and relocated to Davis-Monthan Air Fore Base (Tucson, AZ). From this union were born two children; Constance (Connie) and Ronald (Ronnie). Wanting to provide a foundation for his children, the family attended the Korean Presbyterian Church where Ron became a Sunday School teacher and taught Vacation Bible School during the summer. He also volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America and worked at the Arizona Training Center distributing presents and serving Christmas dinner to over 400 mentally challenged children.
In 1984, Ron became a Technical Sergeant under the tactical air command where he developed training manuals used to teach basic military skills.
He was awarded two Commendation Medals, two Outstanding Unit Awards, four Air Force Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, three Air Force Longevity Service Medals and the Small Arms Marksmanship Ribbon. He was the first recipient of the Davis-Monthan AFB OJT Manager of the Year.
The pressures of the job and life itself began to take a toll on the family. As a result of irreconcilable differences, Ron and Chin divorced: the children moved to Pittsburgh to live with their grandparents.
After retiring from the military, Ron relocated to Pittsburgh (2000) to reunite with his children. He gained employment at National City Bank as a security guard. There he met Joanne who came to be his lifelong partner.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted partner of 17 years, Joanne Kozera, one daughter, Constance S. Howard: one son, Ronald K. Howard Jr.; mom, Constance D. Howard; three sisters, Brenda J. Weston, Eunice M. Ruffin (Robert), Diane C. Howard; former spouse Chin Chon; three sisters in love, Carole Eperthener, Cynthia Scott, Joyce Kozera and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.