MAHWAH, N.J. -- Former Mahwah Mayor Robert P. Howard died on Feb. 9 after suffering a stroke, his son said. He was 84.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, on Aug. 12, 1932, Howard served in the U.S. Navy during the 1950s, earning the rank of seaman, cryptologic technician striker, a position that involved national intelligence gathering.
Howard graduated from New York University with a master's degree in music and appeared on Broadway in shows such as “The Music Man.”
"My father was a very outgoing person,” said Howard’s son, Christopher, of Mahwah. “He always had smile on his face. He always saw the best in the people around him. And he always put others before himself.”
After show business, Howard, who was living in Deptford when he died, was an insurance salesman for Prudential before starting his own firm, Howard and Associates. He went on to become a Mahwah councilman, during which he also served as the township's police and fire commissioner, then served as its mayor from 1980-1982.
Howard is survived by his wife, Patsy; son Christopher and his wife, Jennifer; and grandchildren Nicole, Christopher and Anthony. He was predeceased by a son, Michael.
Visitation will be Wednesday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home in Ramsey. A funeral Mass will be held Thursday at 10 a.m.at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Mahwah.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Howard's memory to Mahwah P.B.A. Local 143, 115 Franklin Tpke. #140, Mahwah, N.J. 07430, or Mahwah Fire Co. #1, 100 Miller Road, Mahwah, N.J.