So Leeder suggested praying God would allow Earle to pass away at the same time as his wife.
And, two days later, he did. He was 86, and Lou Nell was 82. They were married 63 years.
Earle Howard was a man of courage, integrity and service. He was admired and trusted by his friends and neighbors and adored by his family. He gave his life to public service and his heart to Lou Nell.
And she gave her heart to him.
Tribune columnist and night editor Rob Burgess told his wife the story surrounding the deaths of the Howards after reading their obituary.
“They won at life,” she said.