THIS IS A COURTSEY LISTING FOR THE HOWARD FAMILY
Jonathan Robert Howard, age 47, of Gilroy, California passed away in the morning on December 8th, in St. Louise Hospital of complications from end stage liver disease. Jonathan was a beloved father, brother, son, uncle, coach, mentor, teacher and friend to many.
Jonathan is survived by his daughter, Bailey Howard of Gilroy, California; his brother, Brian Howard of Morgan Hill, California; his sister, Julie Butler of Underhill, Vermont; his father, Daniel Howard of Sarasota, Florida. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lynne Howard of Gilroy, California, his maternal Grandparents, Bob and Betty Koontz of Edgar, Nebraska and his paternal Grandparents, Bill and Yvonne Howard of Lakeville, Massachusetts.
Jonathan was born in Radford, Virginia in 1973. His family moved around frequently and as a kid Jonathan lived in Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, California and Vermont. Frequent moves taught Jonathan how to make friends easily but it was always difficult to leave his friends behind. Jonathan graduated from Hartford High School in Hartford, Vermont in 1992 where his football team won back-to-back state championships his junior and senior years. Howie played running back on offense and linebacker on defense and his enthusiasm and drive motivated everyone to play harder. When he played his goal was to hit so hard that it made the snot fly out of his nose. Jonathan forged lifelong friendships playing football and developed a love for the sport and the camaraderie born of the losses, victories and struggles as a team.
He went on to redshirt his freshman year at West Virginia Wesleyan University where he lamented that non-starters in the secondary ran for practice, every practice. He said that he was in the best shape of his life after that season but that, unfortunately, it didn’t make him any faster. He moved from West Virginia back to Vermont to be closer to his friends and eventually made it out to Morgan Hill, California where his family had relocated. He made it out to California in time to watch his sister’s senior field hockey season and was one of the rowdiest fans of all time, a tradition he had established at Hartford HS when supporting his friends at their games.
Jonathan welcomed his daughter, his great love, Bailey, in 1999 while living in San Diego. He worked as a Paraprofessional for Gilroy Unified School District from 2006 until 2019 at Antonio Del Buono Elementary, Rucker Elementary, Las Animas Elementary and Christopher High School.
He was generous with his time, concerned for others and listened well. He was able to relate to the children he worked with in school because of his own struggles with dyslexia. He helped teachers and many kids succeed and was a true friend to those in need.
Jonathan, Coach Howard, coached football at Christopher High from 2011 to 2019 and was involved with both the boys and girls basketball programs. He could be a tough person to play for but he believed in his players and he tried to be a positive mentor for anyone who needed him. He loved coaching football because it gave him the opportunity to experience the fellowship and excitement of the game.
Jonathan had a heart of gold and was truly an amazing person. He was generous, giving, compassionate, kind and was always willing to help. He was devoted to those he loved, and he will be sorely missed by those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
A go-fund me page has been started for Bailey Howard to help pay for funeral and memorial services (https://gofund.me/df21a294). Any remaining funds will be put towards a Memorial Scholarship Fund for Athletes set up in Jonathan’s honor at Christopher High School. A memorial service will be held when it is safe to gather to celebrate the life of Jonathan Robert Howard.
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