James Walter Howse, III - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

James Walter Howse, III

Born December 11, 1922

James Walter Howse, III, 94, of Newark DE, passed away peacefully at his home at Millcroft in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 6, 2017, with Barbara, his beloved wife of 55 years, by his side.

He was born in Philadelphia, PA on December 11, 1922 and raised in Chester County, PA. James was the oldest of three children of James W. Howse, Jr., and Mary Ashbridge Chase. A graduate of West Chester High School, Jim suspended his education at the University of Pennsylvania to enlist in the Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Jim served for the duration of World War II, fighting in North Africa, Sicily (with General Patton), Italy, France and Germany, where his unit met up with the Russian troops. With the conclusion of hostilities, Jim remained overseas as a member of the Army of Occupation, where among his many duties he played trombone in an Army band to entertain the troops. All of these experiences in war left him with a deep sense of the importance of duty, sacrifice and kindness that he carried with him throughout his life.

After returning home, Jim went back to college, graduating from Ursinus College in 1949, and then receiving a Master’s in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951.

In 1951, Jim married his first wife, Thelma Alice Lindberg, with whom he had two children, David James and Robin Lee. Following Thelma’s untimely death, Jim married Barbara Ann Blair in 1962. They settled in Devon, PA, and the family grew with the addition of two children, James W., IV and Ellen Blair.

Jim began his career in banking as a collector with Beneficial Finance in Maryland. In 1956, he moved to First Pennsylvania Company for Banking and Trust. He rose through the ranks to become Chief Financial Officer of First Pennsylvania’s Consumer Finance Unit and remained in that position until his unit was sold to Manufacturers Hanover Trust Corporation, from which he retired in 1982. He then became the Chief Financial Officer and board member of Public Finance Services, Inc., a Bala Cynwyd based consumer finance company where he worked until he retired in 1989.

An avid sports fan, Jim took great pleasure in rooting for the four major Philadelphia sports team, especially the Flyers and Phillies. He was very active in community service organizations, serving on the volunteer board of the Main Line Symphony Orchestra for many years, in line with his deep love of music. He also served four terms as the volunteer president of the Upper Main Line YMCA. During his time as president, his leadership helped to drive significant membership growth and major expansions of the buildings and facilities for the organization.

Jim was a lifelong Episcopalian and active in the Episcopal Church wherever he lived throughout his life. He was an acolyte from his youth well into adulthood, served as a Sunday school teacher for many years and was active on the Vestry. He attended weekly services until shortly before his death.

Following his retirement in 1989, Jim and Barbara settled in Pawley’s Island, SC, where they pursued their passion for golf by joining Litchfield Country Club and also playing many of the golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Jim was a voracious reader and was especially passionate about history, with a particular interest in American and European history from the first half of the twentieth century. Jim believed strongly in public service. While in South Carolina, he served as a mentor for adults who were learning to read. He also volunteered as a boat tour guide at Brookgreen Gardens, where he was able to share his passion for birds with visitors. As an active member of SCORE, he counseled individuals working to start small businesses, and each spring he volunteered with TCE, which assists senior citizens by completing their federal and state income tax forms. Jim also developed and co-hosted Tax Time, a talk show with a casual Q&A format that aired on local public television during tax season, providing answers to tax questions and helpful tips.

In 2002, Jim and Barbara returned north, settling in Bear, DE to be closer to family and to be more involved with their two youngest grandchildren. He continued his involvement with TCE and was on the Finance Committee at St. Thomas Church, Newark, where they were members. Jim and Barbara were also members of Newark Country Club, and there they enjoyed many rounds of golf.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Mary Virginia Miller, an infant daughter, Thelma, and his first wife, Thelma. Jim is survived by his wife Barbara, his brother Phillip Chase Howse(Pat) of Audubon, PA, his four children, David James Howse (Jennifer) of Sacramento, CA, Robin Howse Anstaett (Kurt) of Winnetka, IL, James Walter Howse IV (Sarah) of Santa Fe, NM and Ellen Howse Brannen (Jerry) of Bear, DE. Jim was known as The Captain by his adored and adoring grandchildren – Adam David Howse, Aaron Matthew Howse, Ross Morgan Anstaett, Blair Bromley Anstaett, Sydney Blair Brannen and Amanda Sarah Brannen. He is also survived by his beloved felines, Dormie and Winston.

Jim enjoyed life, living every day fully so long as he was able. Family and friends were always treated as highlights of his life. He will be lovingly remembered and often missed by those who knew him.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday morning, November 18, 2017, at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 276 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in his name to the Brandywine Valley SPCA, 600 South St, New Castle, DE 19720 or to the National Audubon Society, 225 Varick St, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014.


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3 Condolences for James Walter Howse, III

  • Dear Ellen – I remember the many stories you told us about your dad and mom. What a great story of his life! It’s nice to revisit some of the things you shared with us, although a sad occasion. Thinking of you and your family.

  • Mr. Howse was a wonderful man whom I had the honor of knowing since meeting Ellen in college. He always welcomed me and my family, especially my husband Steve once he found out Steve had as Mustang. He will be remembered with love by us, and our prayers are with you.

  • Dear Barbara, I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know my heart is with you, Ann