Howard Edmund Wile passed away peacefully at his home, Primrose Retirement Community, in Anderson, on Nov. 29, 2016, at the age of 90.
Born in Ipswich, Mass., he joined the U.S. Navy right after graduating high school at the age of 17. He defended freedom in World War II and the Korean War. After more than 20 years of distinguished service, he retired as Chief Petty Officer, the highest rank an enlisted man could achieve at the time. For several years, he was an honored guest at the Mount Comfort Air Show, where they displayed one of the naval airplanes in which he was the turret gunner.
Howard was a 1968 graduate from Anderson College (now Anderson University).
After retiring from the Navy, Howard worked as a journalist for The Anderson Herald, a salesman for the Hoyt Wright Company, Chief Probation Officer of Madison County Superior Court 2, and Assistant Superintendent at the Pendleton Reformatory.
He loved to travel with his wife, attending naval reunions, exploring new places, and taking cruises with his family. He especially loved the cruises, where he once again got to feel a rolling deck beneath his feet. He also took pride and pleasure in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Howard was a stalwart volunteer for the Republican Party in the state of Indiana, serving as a vice precinct committeeman for more than 25 years. He also served as Lincoln Club secretary, editor of the Lincoln Club newsletter, a delegate to the 1978 and 1980 Republican state conventions, Sergeant-At-Arms for the 1990 Republican state convention, and clerk for the 1992 Republican state convention. He worked on many campaigns and ran for County Auditor in 1976. He received the Lincoln Club Award in 1993.
Howard also gave tirelessly to his community. He is remembered as a passionate advocate of the Boy Scouts of America, serving as Scout Master, Cub Master, and summer camp director. His efforts on behalf of that organization were recognized with its highest honor at the time, the Silver Beaver award.
Faith was always an important part of Howard's life, as can be seen by the service that he gave to his church. He was a regular worship leader for St. Matthew United Methodist church, where he sat on several committees and boards. He also met the love of his life, Joan, there. He was the president of the United Methodist Men's Lenten Breakfast, a member of the Faith and Order commission for the Indiana Council of Churches, a delegate to the United Methodist Northern Conference and a member of its executive board.
In addition to his work with the Boy Scouts and church, Howard gave of himself through organizations like the Helping Hands Breakfast Program, the PAL club, and Pet-A-Pal (a program that takes pets to shut-ins). Saint Augustine wrote, "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." Howard Wile's life exemplified such love.
Howard is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joan Wile; three children (Bryan Kipling, Howard Edmund II, and Jay Lambert); eight grandchildren (Kristal McCorkle, Kara Wile, Danielle Wile, Dawn Perdue, Jordan Meister-Wile, Michael Jarman, Melissa Jarman, Lynn Hernandez); and four great-grandchildren (Kennedy McCorkle, Kerrigan McCorkle, Astrid Wollan, and Makayla Hernandez).
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers; and his beloved son, Vincent E. Wile.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Matthew United Methodist Church with the Rev. Daryl Gilbert officiating.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service and Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Christian Center.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff of Primrose Retirement Community and Heartland Hospice.
Online condolences at www.rozelle-johnson.com.
Published on November 30, 2016