Richard J. Howanice was born in Passaic, NJ, and grew up in Clifton. He graduated from Clifton High School in 1959, and married his high school sweetheart, June Heller. Since both their last names began with “H,” he sat behind her in class and attracted her attention by pulling on her ponytail. They were married for almost 58 years, before his wife passed away last year. He was his wife’s caregiver for the past three years of her life as she battled breast cancer and was with her when she passed away telling her how much he loved her. They had a happy and loving marriage and did everything together. They were seldom apart. In their younger days, they enjoyed vacations to the Western states and Florida with their sons, Jim and Ed. In 2014, they made another cross country trip to visit family and friends. Richie used to put a smile on everyone’s face with his many funny email stories and jokes he would send out.
They spent most of their life living in Little Falls, NJ. He served in the NJ National Guard and as a boy scout leader. He also attended evening classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He owned and operated two auto part stores, Van Houten Auto Parts in Clifton and Caldwell Auto Parts in Caldwell, N.J. In his retirement years, he became a real estate agent with Century 21. He was mechanically inclined and could fix or build just about anything. He was always active and busy.
Richie was a wonderful son, husband, father, friend. I would always tell him he was the world’s best brother in law. When I turned 18, he surprised me with my 1st car, a 1959 blue Plymouth. He spent his lunch hour working on it, so I’d have a car for school and work. His father in law paid Richie the greatest compliment. He said Richie was the best “son” any one could ask for. As his in laws aged and needed help with things, Richie was always there to take them places and handle things they could no longer do. He was a kind, helpful, gentle, and loving person, who enjoyed time spent with family and friends. He often got together with friends for card games. He made friends easily and remained lifelong friends with people from his grammar and high school days. He enjoyed going to NJ summer concerts.
His wife, two sons, Jim and Ed, and granddaughter, Amanda, meant the world to him. He was also the pet sitter for his sons’ various dogs and cats over the years. Richie and June enjoyed vacationing in Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach area of Florida for the winter months. They loved the ocean and warm weather. Richie will be missed and remembered by all who knew and loved him.
Private Services were held at the convenience of the family under the supervision of Bizub-Parker Funeral Home, 47 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ. Memorial contributions may be made in Richie’s memory to Eagle Hose Co #1, PO Box 203, Little Falls, NJ 07424.