Calvin Ray Howard, a retired Electrical Engineer and Musician, passed away at the Life Care Center of Merrimack Valley on Thursday evening, August 16, 2018. The beloved husband of Irene (Spiegel) for 61 years, he was 85 years old.
Calvin was born in Greenfield. He was the son of the late Kenneth and Alice Howard. Calvin was raised in Bernardston and attended Mount Hermon, a prestigious all boys college preparatory school. After graduation Calvin earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. He also served his country in the United States Army from 1956 – 1958 achieving the rank of SP-4.
Cal had a passion for folk dancing and music. It was while attending college in Boston that he met his future wife Irene Spiegel at a local dance. They married in 1956 and settled in Burlington in 1961. Cal worked as an Electrical Engineer for Sylvania which later became GTE and eventually Verizon. He retired in the mid 1970’s and started a new career as a musician, which was always his passion.
Cal was a talented dancer and musician. He played the accordion, piano and stand up bass. He played music with various bands throughout the years. He even traveled the world playing folk dance music in Canada, England and Poland where Calvin and his family spent 5 weeks. He belonged to many groups and organizations including The Scottish Country Dance Society, White Cockade, Yankee Ingenuity, Cambridge Folk Orchestra, Country Dance Society of Boston, NEFFA - New England Folk Festival Association, the Folk Arts Center of New England, and so many more, playing music, dancing, and making lifelong friends. He especially enjoyed playing both traditional and new contra dance music. Cal and Irene had a wonderful 61 years together sharing their love of dancing and music with each other.
Cal also had a mechanical aptitude and could fix anything, including the sound systems used at many events. He shared his skills with his son Neil showing him how to tinker with cars, build bikes and tackle any type of project in the home. He was a supportive and loving father to his two children Janet and Neil. Cal was proud to be a grandfather to his six grandchildren who brought him great joy. Cal will be remembered for his easy going and giving personality and his love of his family.
Calvin was the beloved husband to Irene (Spiegel). He was the loving father of Janet Stewart & her husband Evan of Colchester, VT and Neil Howard & his wife Heidi of Tyngsboro. He was the proud grandfather of Colin & Leslie Stewart and Christopher, Ethan, Jessica & Emily Howard. Funeral Services were private. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Calvin’s name may be made to Alzheimer’s Association MA Chapter, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452 www.alz.org, or Folk Arts Center of New England, 10 Franklin St., Stoneham, MA 02180 www.facone.org, or any organization of your choice that promotes folk music and dance.