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Remembering Howard Straughan

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Howard Straughan

Howard R. Straughan, Jr.

Howard R. Straughan, Jr. died peacefully on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 in Melbourne, FL at the age of 84. His two sons, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters were by his side when he passed.

Howard was born November 29, 1929 in Heathsville, VA where he spent his boyhood years and graduated from St. Christopher’s School in Richmond.  He would later earn a BA degree from the College of William and Mary, a graduate degree in banking from Rutgers University and a Law degree from the Birmingham School of Law.

While finishing school in 1952, he met and married Joy Chandler. They would remain devoted to one another for the next 62 years until her recent passing on Memorial Day of this year. They raised two sons and enjoyed four grandchildren.

Howard had a successful 38-year career as a Trust Officer, Vice President and Senior Vice President of five notable banking institutions. During that time, he made lifelong friends in Birmingham, AL, Newport News, VA, Whiteville, NC, and Miami, FL.

In 1990, Howard and Joy retired to the Northern Neck, residing in Kilmarnock, VA. Over his lifetime, Howard devoted his time, energy, and business acumen to the needs and enjoyment of his family and friends, to Grace Episcopal Church Kilmarnock, as well as many other philanthropic and civic pursuits. Among his many accomplishments, he proudly served on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Northumberland, Eastern Virginia Bank, Rice’s Hotel-Hughlett’s Tavern Foundation, the Northumberland Historical Society, the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum, and the Advisory Board of River Counties Community Foundation. He was a founding patron, Director, and Co-Chairman of the Northumberland Public Library, President of the Northern Neck Chapter of the W&M Alumni Association, and Treasurer for the National Audubon Society’s Kilmarnock Chapter. He also served several years on the Kilmarnock Town Council. Wherever Howard lived, his tireless efforts and dedication to service made a positive difference in the lives of the people around him.

To many people he met throughout his life, Howard became a trusted friend. To the many people he worked with, he became a valued colleague. To his wife, he was a loving, devoted husband. To his sister, he was a loving, protective brother. And to his children, he was Father of the Year, for 50 years in a row.

His surviving family includes his two sons, Samuel L. Straughan of  Melbourne, FL and H. Randolph Straughan of Durham, NC; Sam’s wife, Kathryn and their children, Nikki and Jacqueline; Randolph’s children, Anna and Samantha; Howard’s sister, Cora Simpson and her husband, Murray of Bethesda, MD and their children and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his recently departed wife, Joy Straughan.

A memorial celebration for Howard and Joy will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Heathsville. Following the service, a reception in their honor will be held in the Transportation Museum and pavilion at Rice’s Hotel-Hughlett’s Tavern.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northumberland Public  Library, 7204 Northumberland Hwy, Heathsville VA 2473, or, Rice’s Hotel – Hughlett’s Tavern C/O RH/HT Foundation Inc., PO Box 579  Heathsville, VA 22473.

Arrangements entrusted to Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, Melbourne, FL (321) 724-2222. Share memories and sign the family guestbook at