It is with great surprise and sadness we learned of Howie’s passing on October 29th.  As we all know, Howie was not slow at anything he undertook in his life including his passing which was less than a week of friends learning of his liver cancer and succumbing to it.  The aggressive nature of this insidious disease was such that as much as we hated to lose our good friend, he is now in a better place.   We can be sure his good friend Paul Johnstone (the Big Kahuna) greeted him, rum & coke in hand.  Together they will enjoy many rounds of bogie free golf on that big course in the sky and at other times will be catching a limitless number of Springs, Coho and Halibut, two sports that replaced Howie’s passion and excellence for racquetball.

A service and Celebration of Life was held in Edmonton on November 4th at which a number of longstanding friends shared many “Wowie Howie” stories ensuring the memory of our unique and remarkable friend was not lost and would be remembered forever.  Many of Howie’s wide circle of golf, fishing, racquetball, business and good time friends attended to offer their sincere condolences to Barbara, Joshua, Julian and Howie’s family for their loss, and ours.   He will be sadly missed but never forgotten.  May his soul rest in peace.

MEMORIAL WALK ~ Howie was both a member and passionate supporter of the Bowen Island Golf Club, partly because he enjoyed his visits to Bowen (Chez Russell’s) plus his enjoyment of a game he played all too infrequently.  He enjoyed many rounds on our beautiful award winning course.  Joshua and Julian, his much adored and loved children, took lessons there, honing their golf skills which enabled them to not only beat Howie but also compete in the Penguin Golf Classic, an event near and dear to Howie and so many of his good friends.

With the acknowledgement and blessing of Barbara, and the support of his friends, I suggested we install a HOWIE RANKIN bronze plaque on the club’s newly created MEMORIAL WALK.  In addition his bronze plaque, on the walk, his name will be added to the MEMORIAL WALK master plaque in the clubhouse so as to ensure his name will last forever for all to see.

Anyone wishing to support this memorial initiative, by way of a nominal donation, please forward your cheque, payable to the Bowen Island Golf Club, to Bruce Russell, #5-260 East 4th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7L 1H9.  Donations received in excess of the cost of the plaque will be used for capital additions at the course.  Howie would embrace and be proud of this initiative in his memory.  After the plaque has been installed I will contact everyone advising them of the day we will have a “hit with Howie” which will include a brief plaque unveiling, a round of golf and the obligatory glass of fine red wine.  If you have any questions I can be contacted at 604-990-1500 x308 or brucer@gulfpacific.ca.  Please feel free to forward this notice to any friends of Howie.

Here’s to the memory of a wonderful guy and great friend.

Bruce Russell

 

 

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.