Published: June 16, 2015
KEEDYSVILLE, MD. — Anyone who knew Howard McKinley Souders wept when they heard of his sudden passing at 51 on June 16. It was shocking because he was one of those rare human beings full of life, humor and caring.
His June 23 service began with the preacher recounting phone conversations with Howard always beginning with his cheerful, “Hey Dude!” The preacher went on with examples of Howard’s pitching in on any request for help. Howard was exceptional in his commitment to family, friends and faith.
Howard was a picker extraordinaire with a great eye and deep knowledge of country furniture and folk art. Our loft apartment is sprinkled with gems he unearthed in his constant searches through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. His antique picking typified the way he conducted his life.
He would not join the pool among the many dealers at the innumerable country auctions he attended on the simple premise that it would be depriving bereaved families of the returns that were rightly theirs. And when you became Howard’s friend, he often found things only you would want. He once sat through a long farm auction to bid on a stack of heavily weathered fence posts he knew I would find irresistible for the quirky furniture I design. He marked them up exactly $1 above the $30 he paid.
Over and over he ran things for us and for others for a shockingly tiny profit for him. After the funeral we met several friends of whom we had heard him speak affectionately; some had pieces we had owned and vice versa. All had stories about Howard’s generosity of spirit and his talent for connecting with people.
He leaves an extended family: mother, sisters, son and daughters, his best friend and brother-in-law Denny Warren Feltz and his beloved wife Chris. Some in the arts know Chris for her exceptionally creative pottery. She is now beginning the process of design for a commemorative urn. She knows that capturing Howard’s essence in such a piece cannot ever be fully achieved, but that the process and memories will bring soft smiles along with tears and hopefully the peace and acceptance Howard would have wanted.
All recognized in Howard an honest and totally genuine person, outgoing, funny, yet serious and earnest, though never pushing his beliefs. I speak for ever person who knew Howard in saying we will miss him terribly but we will also carry with us always the moments of laughter and the feelings of joy he brought us.
—Rob and Ada Brandegee
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm