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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Raymond C. Howard, 81

Raymond C. Howard, noted creator of consumer products and packaging and former owner of a Westport marketing company, died of cancer Oct. 26 in Naples, Fla. He was 81.

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Raymond Howard:  consumer products creator. Contributed photo

During his career, he developed and designed deodorant soap (Dial Soap), the Big G brand mark of General Mills, the first microwave oven (Amana Radar Range), the first rectilinear refrigerator (Amana), the first branded bouquet (FTD’s LoveBundle), Blooming Colors by Maybelline, Lemon-Up shampoo, the first Medicare gap-filler insurance (Golden 65), the Dodge Neon, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Born in Cleveland on Feb. 15, 1932, he attended public schools while earning money delivering papers and caddying at the Oakwood Country Club. During World War II, he was an air raid messenger, wearing a big white helmet and trained in first aid.

He graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and entered Northwestern University where he joined Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He graduated with a major in economics and a minor in Soviet Studies. He also attended the Russian immersion program at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was awarded a fellowship to Columbia University.

Upon graduation, he married Betty Guinter of Chicago and embarked on a summer sales job for Kimberly-Clark’s consumer products division. He fell in love with sales and marketing as he moved among Chicago, Detroit and Houston.  Having turned down his Columbia fellowship, he lost his deferment and was drafted into the Army.

After training for the Adjutant General Corps, he spent two years at Camp Fuji, Japan where he was chief instructor, Armed Forces Institute, teaching college courses to officers who lacked adequate college training.

Back in Chicago, he joined the design department of Container Corporation of America where he developed major products and packages for clients in the United States and Europe.

After seven years, heleft packaging to join Post-Keyes-Gardner Advertising Agency in Chicago as marketing director. He rose to executive vice [resident supervising Maybelline, Old Milwaukee Beer, Florist Transworld Delivery, Continental Casualty, Gillette toiletries, Pine-Sol, Santa Fe and others.

Leaving the world of advertising 10 years later, he wrote a business column for the Chicago Sun-Times which was later syndicated by the New York News-Chicago Tribune organization. He moved to New York after his divorce in 1974.

He met Barbara (Bethard) Lorenz a year later at a church service at the United Nations Chapel. They were married in the U.N. Chapel the next year with a reception in the U.N. office building at U.N. Plaza.

Leaving journalism, he joined Brooks International where he supervised the marketing and client analysis departments. In 1981, he brought in 60 percent of the business but received only six percent of the bonus money. He immediately decided to form his own company.

Howard International was established in Westport in 1982 with projects from three former clients. As the firm prospered, Barbara joined HI in 1985 and ran the office since Ray was spending most of his time on the road.

In 1989, Howard International established a second office in Naples, Fla. The advent of the electronic era made it possible to generate and execute projects from almost anywhere in the country. 

Before email, Ray would create materials in Naples which would be sent by modem to Westport for editing and then sent on to the client in Chicago or wherever. Soon clients were insisting on having meetings at HI in Naples during the winters.

In 1999, he sold the business and retired, living in Naples, Weston, and Barry, Ill.

During the new millennium, he used his creative talents to publish articles and cartoons about world economic affairs on his website, http://www.unclewisdom.com.

He was a member of the Naples Council on World Affairs and of the North Naples United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, his son Bryan Howard, his daughter Cheryl Lothian, three grandchildren, and stepdaughter, Tonia Lorenz.  He was predeceased by his son David.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 12:30 p.m. in the chapel at the North Naples United Methodist Church with internment in the church’s memorial garden.

Memorial donations may be made to the North Naples United Methodist Church or to a charity of your choice.

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Posted 10/27/13 at 03:46 AM  Permalink



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