2016-01-28 / Front Page

Lou Howard, former lawmaker and renowned coach, dies

Services Friday & Saturday; Funeral set for Sunday

Funeral services are set for Sunday for Lou Howard, legendary football coach and former mayor of Amityville who died Monday, January 25. He was 92 years old.

Howard was born on December 16, 1923, and resided in Amityville his entire life. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, graduated from Springfield College in 1948 and later earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from NYU. In 14 years as Amityville High School football coach, he led his teams to 9 consecutive league championships and 5 consecutive Rutgers trophies, never posting a losing season. He was known affectionately as “Uncle Lou,” and his game-day attire of black sweater and white cap has become synonymous with Amityville football. Howard authored several books on football, including one on the shotgun formation, which was the hallmark of his Amityville offense long before it became widely used in professional ball. His knowledge of the psychology of coaching made him a sought-after speaker, and he often delivered pre-game motivational talks to NFL teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints.  In 2010 he spoke to the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team and was told by head coach Kirk Ferentz that it was the most inspirational speech he had ever heard.   He is an inductee of the Long Island Sports Hall of Fame, Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame, Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame, Amityville High School Hall of Fame, and several others.

Howard also held a Ph.D. in Aerospace Technology from Western Colorado University, and instituted and developed the Aerospace program at SUNY Farmingdale, serving as its first department chairman. He holds the distinction of having his initials painted on all of the planes in Farmingdale’s fleet. In 2013, to mark his ninetieth birthday, Howard piloted one of the planes and was honored at a ceremony at the college. Howard authored one of the first texts instructing pilots on how use the instrument landing system, and it became the standard in the field. He also served as a flight instructor and  F.A. A. flight examiner, and was appointed by Richard Nixon to serve on a federal advisory committee to design the first space shuttle for NASA. He is a member of the Farmingdale College Aviation Hall of Fame.

On the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight, Howard retraced Lindbergh’s route, flying commercially and landing in Le Bourget field near Paris. This journey resulted in Howard spearheading the efforts to unite Le Bourget and Amityville as sister cities. This cultural alliance continues to thrive thirty-five years later.

He served several terms as mayor of Amityville before being elected to the newly-created Suffolk County Legislature, where he represented the 14th District and rose to become presiding officer of the Legislature. He was also elected to represent the 9th District in the New York State Assembly. He was chosen for the Town of Babylon’s list of 100 most influential people of the 20th Century, where he was named in the top ten. He also served two terms on the State University of New York Board of Trustees, overseeing the 64 colleges and universities in the S.U.N.Y system, and retired last summer from the Stony Brook Council at Stony Brook University.

Howard was a newspaper publisher and former owner of the Amityville Record and the Suffolk Sun. He was a licensed real estate broker, small business owner, and accomplished woodturner. He was a founding member of the Long Island Woodturner’s Association.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Margaret (Webber), his seven children, Thomas and his wife Pamela; Maureen (Mikey) and her husband John Eustace; Bruce, Patrick and his wife Anette Sturmann; Margaret (Peggy) Ostermann and her husband Dietmar; Jane Schmitt and her husband Robin; and Louis T., Jr. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren: Trevor Howard (Maureen); Kaylie La Lota (Nicholas); Evan Howard (Anna); Whitney Howard; Leah, Margaret (Greta), John (Jack) and Alexander Eustace; Margot Howard; Jacqueline, Lars, Olivia, and Bjorn Ostermann; Andrew (Drew), Katherine (Kate), Blake, and Claire Schmitt; Quinn, Liam, and Aidan Howard, and nine great-grandchildren, Tyler, Mairead, Shane, Brady, Ella, and Callan Howard, and Maggie, Reagan, and Brooke La Lota.

Visitation is at Powell Funeral Home in Amityville Friday 7-9:30 pm, Saturday 2 -4:30 and 7 9:30 pm and a funeral service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Amityville on Sunday at 2:00.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in memory of Lou.

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