Deceased February 16, 2023

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In Memory

Paul Howland died peacefully Feb. 16, 2023, in Grand Rapids, Mich., from a prolonged illness. His wife, Amna, and his family were at his side. Paul was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to Juliet (née Gaudin) and John Howland ’33. Paul and I lived in Pratt together. Within 48 hours of arriving on campus, we obtained some Narragansett and popcorn, climbed onto Noah Webster’s lap and enjoyed our snack. Captured on film, we appeared on page 1, below the fold, of The Amherst Student. Paul was most proud of his role as manager for the soccer team, under Coach Peter Gooding.

Although he tried to keep a gruff and stoic façade, anyone lucky enough to know Paul well experienced his dry wit and thoughtful gestures. Paul was an avid student of history and a repository of seemingly endless knowledge. From cooking to WWII battleships to the 17th-century French royal court to Cleveland baseball to opera, his interests were varied. He amazed us with the depth of his intelligence.

Paul had a long and robust career with the State of Michigan, calling his boss to officially resign on the day before he died. Paul was a groomsman at our wedding, and I was one at his. He was godfather to our older daughter, Becca. Before he married, he paid frequent visits to us in Burlington, Vt., to share Thanksgiving and spend special time with his goddaughter. 

He maintained a regular presence in France, preserving a strong connection with his French family.

At Paul’s funeral, Amna told us how devoted he was to family, and how, as he was a true 17th-century Francophile, his family affectionately called him their own Roi Soleil—very appropriate for a student of the Terras Irradient college. 

Bob Jones ’69