He was born October 18, 1941, in Plymouth, IN, to Charles O. and Ethelyn Steelman Howard. He married Susan “Sue” Clough on July 27, 1962. She survives.
Growing up and spending his early years on a small family farm in rural Indiana, Jim knew at a very early age he wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from Iowa State University in Ames with a D.V.M. in 1965. Upon graduation, he and Sue moved to southern California where he was an associate with a small animal practice in Torrance, California.
In 1970, wanting to establish his own practice, Jim and Sue moved to Wooster and established Cleveland Road Animal Hospital. Starting as a solo practitioner, the practice initially treated both large and small animals. As the it grew, associates were added, and the practice evolved into a small animal hospital. For nearly forty years he was “Doc” to many, treating the community’s four-legged family members until his retirement in 2007.
Jim and his family raised, exhibited, and sold Southdown sheep, under the banner of A Long Way From L.A. Southdowns. The sheep were exhibited for many years at the Wayne County Fair, Ohio State Fair, and the North American International. Sheep were sold across the country, as well as Canada and Central America. Jim was past president of both American Southdown Breeders Association and Ohio Southdown Breeders Association. The flock was dispersed in 2003 and sold Gary Kwisnek of Scenic View Farms, Clarksburg, PA.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children Charles C. Howard of Cincinnati, Anne S. (Hakan Bergon) Howard of Alexandria, VA, and Katherine N. (Jean) Arnold of Athens, GA; granddaughter Leila Arnold; siblings Lucy Ann Strait of Boulder, CO, Nancy Sue Reed of Hamilton, IN, and Paul F. (Christine) Howard of Hilton Head, SC.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents.
Friends will be received, Saturday July 16, from 5-7 PM at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Wayne County Humane Society, 1161 Mechanicsburg Rd., Wooster, OH 44691; Westview Healthy Living Staff Education Fund, 1715 Mechanicsburg Rd., Wooster, OH 44691; Wooster Community Hospital c/o Greatness Need Fund, 1761 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691; or to Cleveland Clinic Foundation Fund, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195.
The family wishes to extend its thanks to the staff at Westview Healthy Living and Dr. John Miller. And to all those who entrusted their animals to his care.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com