Cover photo for James Howard, III's Obituary
James Howard, III Profile Photo

James Howard, III

July 1, 1935 — September 29, 2022

Jim was born July 1st, 1935 and raised in Oakmont Pennsylvania. As a University of Pennsylvania Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brother, he married the love of his life Donna Fowler in 1955 and then graduated from university with his bachelors in 1957. He began his career at Bell of Pennsylvania, earned his MSN from MIT and became Vice President of Operations for Wisconsin Telephone. Jim went on to become President and CEO of Ameritech, the Chicago-based parent of the Bell Companies, until he was recruited to Northern States Power Company of MN where he remained chairman and CEO until retirement. While at NSP he founded the NRG Company. His career took him and Donna across the globe to Japan, Australia, Sri Lanka, England, Germany, and the former Soviet Union, Russia where he toured Chernobyl. Stories of his trips made dinner conversations with lots of laughs and awe. Throughout his life Jim sat as chairman of many organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, United Negro College Fund, United Way of Minneapolis Area, the Danny Thomas Memorial Leukemia Foundation, the Conference Board, Inc, Nuclear Energy Institute, Edison Electric Institute, the Association of Edison Illuminating, Inc, and Board of Xcel Energy. He also served as a director of many other organizations including Ecolab Inc, Honeywell Inc, Capital City Partnership, and Walgreen Co. Jim served as a trustee of the University of St Thomas and was an adjunct professor of their MBA program. Jim was also on the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business and a member of the International Energy Agency Coal Industry Advisory Board in Paris, France. Jim will be remembered for his mentoring and how many lives that were changed through his touch of thoughtfulness. The adventure continued as work moved Jim and his family across America. Although they lived in many homes his favorite was the house he and Donna built together after retirement in Palm Beach Gardens. FL. Jim being an avid sportsman he enjoyed golfing at Oakmont, boating at Lake Michigan on his Searay, the Donna J, hosting many ski trips with his friends and family in Sun Valley ID, bird hunting with his sons, grandsons, and their dog Stoli, his first of many black labs. Donna finally approved Jim’s purchase of a Harley Davidson and he had so much fun going to Sturgis and Daytona Beach biker rallies. Iron Horse Saloon being his favorite where he purchased his leathers and loved listening to David Allen Coe. He was known for his quick wit, Howard time, work ethic, and always ready for a party. Although he was a Pittsburgh boy at heart, he became a Clemson fan after moving one last time to be closer to his family in Aiken, South Carolina where he also met many wonderful people most of which became dear friends. Predeceased by his parents Flosse & James J. Howard II, and his son James J. Howard IV. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years Donna, his children; Cathy Gagnon (Ray), Christine Andres (Byron), Bill Howard (Tracy), and widowed daughter-in-law Jean Howard, his nine grandchildren, Jessica ( Jim), Nicole, Jim V, Dana (Land), Jack, Donna, Danny, Tommy, Billy, and two great grandchildren, Ezra and James J. Howard VI. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your favorite charity. The Calvary is Coming! Make America Great Again! SHELLHOUSE-RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, INC., 715 E. PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SC Jim's online guest book may be signed by visiting To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Howard, III, please visit our flower store.


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