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Paul Douglas Howson

Died: February 1, 2004

Paul was born October 20, 1944 in Bryn Mawr, PA and graduated from The Haverford School in Villanova, PA in 1962. At Yale he was a resident of Morse College and majored in electrical engineering (where he acquired the nickname Sparky as a consequence of a lab mishap). Following his graduation from Yale, Paul went to work as an electrical engineer with Sanders Associates (which later became a part of BAE Systems) in Nashua, NH, where he became a senior principal systems engineer and worked his entire career. In 1973 Paul married his first love, Patricia Harris, who is today a professor in the Education Department at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA and a professor emeritus at Rivier University in Nashua, NH. Paul also received an M.B.A. from Rivier College in 1985. In the Yale Class of 1966 25th Reunion Yearbook, Paul wrote that “I have been blessed with interesting and challenging work on the leading edge of technology,” and that “I marvel at the fact that I can’t recall a time when I did not look forward to going to work,” but that “my wife and children are by far most important to my happiness.” Patricia reports that Paul continued throughout his life to be quite a character — good-natured, lighthearted and full-of-fun, with a mischievous fondness for life — and that at BAE he was recognized for his positive disposition in leading his project engineers. Paul died February 1, 2004 at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, NH from amyloidosis, a blood disease affecting the kidneys. In addition to his wife Patricia, Paul is survived by his and Patricia’s two children, Paul D. Howson, Jr., an engineer at Brinjac Engineering in Dallas, TX, and Laura A. Howson, the manager of visual merchandising and store design at LindtUSA in Stratham, NH.

Foster Blair remembers:

I was Paul’s lab mate in sophomore year electrical engineering. At the completion of our laboratory assignment it was necessary to disconnect the cabling from the power source, then from the power outlet on the floor, and finally from the lab bench. Unfortunately “Sparky” reversed the procedure and stood there frozen in place as three 10 foot long heavy, energized power cables danced around arching and spraying molten copper every time they contacted each other, the power outlet or the lab bench. Quick action by the lab instructor saved the day, but after that I was in charge of hooking up and disassembling the equipment.

John West remembers:

Paul (”Meatball” in our Haverford School days) was one of our three high school graduates who matriculated at Yale. Always shy and humble!