James Edmund Howard

July 11, 1933 ~ June 11, 2018 (age 84)

James Edmund Howard, 84, of Peterborough, passed away on June 11, 2018 at Summerhill Assisted Living.  He was born in White Horse, PA on July 11, 1933, the son of James M. Howard and Alice (Wise) Howard.

Jim was born on the Howard Family Farm in Lancaster County, PA. He earned a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, and an M.A. from Drew University. He was a student minister in the coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania, and a minister in Philadelphia.

As a civil rights activist, Jim directed a citizenship education and voter registration project in North Carolina with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker service organization. He directed the AFSC New England College program based in Cambridge, MA during the 1960s.  While there, he focused on peace education, conflict resolution, tutoring of children and youth, United Nations seminars and college summer work and study projects with the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indians in Maine, and on mental health institutions and rehabilitation.

Jim was the Director for the National Alliance of Business, a joint effort of industry and government to provide job skills training for the unemployed and underemployed. He taught at Harvard University’s Lifelong Learning Center; was Vice President, Organizational Development and Training, for ITT Sheraton. Beginning in 1981, Jim worked as an independent consultant conducting work in strategic planning, conflict resolution, leadership skills, team building and training.

With his wife, Peggy, he participated in Habitat for Humanity International constructing houses in Tikapur, Nepal. He chaired the Family Selection Committee for Monadnock Habitat for Humanity and assisted in the building of houses in the Monadnock Region. He was also a committee member of the Monadnock Summer Lyceum. In 2004, he led the victorious Hancock Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign.  

Jim was a marathon runner during the 1970s and 1980s. He and Peggy loved sailing and traveling. His work travels took him to thirty countries. He and Peggy traveled worldwide and spent the past twenty winters in Santa Fe, NM, considered their second home.

Following a 1997 Nepal trek in the Himalayas, his photography, a passion of his, was exhibited in Hancock and Peterborough. He presented several slide shows in the Monadnock Region. Jim and Peggy’s photographs were exhibited at the Hancock Library where they presented images of their experiences in Tibet and Nepal in 2000. Exhibits also appeared at the Library and Fiddleheads following their two month sojourn in China in 2002 where Jim completed a consulting project.

Jim was a political activist supporting environmental conservation and nonviolent, diplomatic strategies for achieving international conflict resolutions, who made a profound impact both locally and abroad.  He produced a documentary, Legacy -Generations of Family Business, and most recently published a memoir called, The Boy from Bird-in-Hand.

In his daily life, Jim was a devoted, caring and compassionate partner, parent and friend. He was a warm light and a wonderful listener.

Jim is survived by his wife of more than 46 years, Peggy P. Howard of Peterborough, NH; his two children, Bethany Ann Howard of Wells, ME and James Jeffrey Howard of Salisbury MA, by a former marriage; and his sister, Mary Jane Howard Trout of Pennsylvania.

A memorial service and celebration of Jim’s life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: AFSC Development, 150l Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; Habitat for Humanity, 322 West Lamar St., Americus, GA 31709; or Harris Center for Conservation Education, Kings Highway, Hancock, NH 03449

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