Howard Graham Jones (Wilson) or otherwise affectionately called Howie or HoJo passed away peacefully on October 7, 2021, at the North Island Hospital in Courtenay, BC with family and friends by his side.
Howard is predeceased by his mother Geraldine, father Arthur, grandmother Hazel and sister Charmaine. He will be deeply missed by his loving sister Elizabeth, nephew Aaron (Tara), great niece Chloe, and close cousin Karen.
Howard was born on March 15, 1955, in Victoria BC and grew up in Esquimalt. There he made friendships that lasted his lifetime with John, Bob, Gary, Jenny and many others.
In 1973 Howard joined the Canadian Coast Guard as an engine room assistant and oiler and so his CCG adventures began. Howard had many stories of his voyages; his fondest memories were the times he spent aboard ice breakers CCGS “Camsell” and CCGS “Sir Wilfrid Laurier.” These ships took him to the waters and shores of the Arctic and Vancouver Island. Howard's beautiful photos are a testament to his time seafaring, and his love of the natural world.
He retired from the Coast Guard in 2016.
In 1996 Howard discovered Cumberland, BC and made it his home. There he enjoyed the great outdoors where he loved watching a good storm and could often be found hiking the forest trails with his good buddy, Fire Chief Mike. Always with camera in hand, taking photos of nature and documenting the wonder of even the tiniest detail brought Howard comfort and peace. One of his happy places was amongst the trees.
If you saw his blue Mazda truck parked outside Bill and Lisa’s Wandering Moose Café or parked beside The Grind you would know that Howard was at another of his happy places. You would find him enjoying a coffee or tea and chatting for hours with Gordon, Lois, Rob, Christine, and his many treasured friends.
Howard’s varied interests, his many stories of his Coast Guard adventures, his dry sense of humour, and his warm and tender heart made him a wonderful conversationalist and friend. Howard developed many deep and lasting friendships in his life and easily welcomed others into his circle.
Ultimately, his happy places were anywhere family and friends were found.
He cared about people and his neighbors and volunteered for five years with Citizens on Patrol to help keep his community safe.
Howard offered support whenever he could to anyone, young and old. Young Zack had an especially unshakable place in his heart.
The helping hand of caring friends was extended both ways in Howard’s world. He often spoke of the generosity, care and love offered by Rick and Sharon and the delicious holiday dinners they shared together.
He was a hockey fan, enjoyed baseball, and tennis, and you could count on him to be informed with the latest news and events.
Howard loved music. Many of us enjoyed listening to his beautiful voice, while he strummed his guitar and sang along to his favorite Gordon Lightfoot albums. And we always looked forward to his birthday serenades which brought a smile and made us feel special and loved.
The family would like to thank Dr Hatlelid, Dr Dawadi, the doctors, nurses, and staff of the North Island Hospital for their kindness and care. Howard appreciated every one of you.
And the family is especially grateful to Howard’s dear friend Grace. Her calm and loving presence has been a tremendous and constant support to Howard and to everyone who is missing him now.
Carved in a stone at the front step of Howard’s home are the words “Friendship is a beacon in the storm”. And so, it is a reminder from Howard that no matter what kind of weather, that friendship and love are the true light and guideposts for the journey of life.
An informal get together of friends and family will be organized to celebrate and remember Howard. Information will be posted online later next spring.
“You can’t jump a jet plane like you can a freight train
So, I’d best be on my way in the early morning rain”
To send flowers to Howard's family, please visit our floral store.