1924 – 2016

PORTLAND — Howard Albert Staples, 91, of Gray passed away on Thursday, April 7, while at Maine Medical Center.

Howard was born in Skowhegan on June 29, 1924. He grew up in Berwick and South Paris, before moving to Portland. Howard graduated from Deering High School and, after graduation, immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Howard served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1948 on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La, serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations, where he earned five medals for his service, including the Asiatic Pacific medal with two stars.

After being discharged in 1948, Howard went on to become a mechanic at Lopez Citgo in Deering Center and in later years, at various automotive shops, where his honesty and skills earned him the respect of all of his customers.

Howard was known for his quick wit and sense of humor, yet was always a kind and gentle man. He loved spending his summers at Green Pond in Oxford, water-skiing, playing horseshoes, badminton, cards and relaxing with close friends. In his later years, Howard enjoyed the tranquility of sailing on Green Pond, becoming an iconic figure there and snowmobiling in the winter months right up until he was in his late 80s.

He was a very strong father figure for his nephews, Robert and Lee, and loved nothing more than to share time and laughs with them whenever possible.

The family wishes to sincerely thank the great staff at Maine Medical Center for their caring and attentiveness in keeping Howard comfortable during his brief stay there.

Howard is predeceased by his mother, Laura; father, George; sister, Ruth; and brother, Lee.

Surviving are his nephew, Robert Staples and wife, Janet, of Gray, and son, Robert Jr. and daughter, Vanessa, husband, Gary, and son, Lane; and nephew, Lee Staples Jr., also of Gray, and son, Jamie, daughter, Tori, and wife, Tara.

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