- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2006

Lewis Langdon Howes, a retired Air Force colonel, died of pancreatic cancer Oct. 13 at Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 83.

Although slowed by Alz-heimer’s disease in his last years, as a former pilot with 25 years of service in the Air Force, he found great pleasure in his views of the clear blue skies and the majestic mountain peaks of New Mexico. He had lived in Hampton, Va., for more than 30 years before moving to New Mexico in 2004.

Col. Howes was born in 1922 in Erie, Pa. He received a bachelor’s degree in natural science from Ohio University and a certificate in meteorology from the University of Chicago.

Col. Howes entered military service in 1944 as a second lieutenant. He retired in 1968 while serving as director of personnel management at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., where he was responsible for more than 120 Vietnam military airlift units.

He previously had headed a weather-support unit for U.S. forces in South Vietnam and Thailand.

His decorations included the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Col. Howes’ favorite assignment was the 375th Air Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he flew missions to detect radiation from suspected Soviet atomic testing. He wrote a book about his experiences.

After his retirement from the Air Force, Col. Howes moved to Hampton and joined the real estate firm of Harrison & Lear Inc. He assisted in partnership management of several multifamily projects. His contribution to the company led to his election to the board of directors and appointment as general partner of several projects.

Col. Howes spent many of his retirement years in genealogical research, tracing his family history back to Thomas Howes, who came to Plymouth Colony from England in 1637. A co-founder in 1987 of the Howes Family Association, he was the first president for six years and the editor of the Howes Family newsletter for nine years.

Col. Howes’ wife, Gay Rasmussen Howes, died in 1973.

Survivors include a stepdaughter, Barbara J. Hill of New York; a stepson, Dr. James E. Rasmussen of Las Cruces, N.M.; two grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.

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