N. Zeke Howard
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Zeke was born September 29, 1946 in Shelby, Ohio to Arnold and Nadean (Reed) Howard. He passed
into glory on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at home with his family by his side, after an extended,
courageous battle with mantle cell lymphoma. He was a graduate of Plymouth High School, North
Central State University and Ashland University. He was also a graduate of the American College,
earning the designation of ChFC, Chartered Financial Consultant. Zeke married Linda Kay (Hamman)
on December 17, 1966 in Shiloh, Ohio. He served in the United States Air Force 1966 -1970, and was
stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. He retired from First Merit Bank in
2009 as an Investment Representative. He was also a licensed life insurance agent and realtor. Zeke
was active throughout his life. Fishing, hunting, softball, and basketball were favorite activities. He
began running at the age of 44 and quickly progressed to a marathon runner for over 20 years – his
races included the Boston Marathon 7 times – New York City Marathon 6 times – Columbus Marathon
for 20 consecutive years. He was honored to be inducted into the Plymouth-Shiloh Distinguished
Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018 for his life-time character and achievements. Zeke was a devout
Christian, reading and journaling daily. He set an example for each one to follow, as he recently stated
“It’s all about Jesus and the only way is by the cross.” His greatest hope is that he sees us all, again, in
heaven one day. As a loving, dedicated, supportive husband, father and grandfather, he was present and
joyful in all family gatherings. He loved watching his daughters and grandchildren in their sports and
many other activities. He prayed for each child, grandchild and sibling daily. He attended Grace
Brethren Church in Ashland where he was a member of the Lighthouse Grace Group. He enjoyed the
friendships, fellowship and studies the class members participated in together. Survivors include his
wife; 2 daughters: Sheri (Kent) McGovern of Jeromesville, Ohio and Shana (Jason) Lentz of
Springfield, Ohio; 6 grandchildren: Kate McGovern, Emily McGovern, Noel Wilkins, Lily Wilkins,
Leah Lentz and Maia Lentz; Mother, Nadean Howard, Plymouth, Ohio: 4 brothers: Norm Howard of
Scottsdale, Arizona, Erv (Neva) Howard of Ashland, Ohio, David Howard of Plymouth, Ohio, Randy
Howard of Plymouth, Ohio and 1 sister, Pam Howard of Plymouth, Ohio. Other relatives also survive.
He was preceded in death by his father on December 25, 2011 and sister-in-law Sally Howard – March
22, 2015. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Zeke’s name to the Ashland County
Cancer Association or Hospice of North Central Ohio. The calling hours and the funeral will be held
Friday, September 17th at Grace Brethren Church, Ashland. Calling hours will begin at 10:00am in the
sanctuary. The service will start at noon. Private burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Shiloh, Ohio.
Fickes Funeral Home in Jeromesville assisted the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.fickesfuneralhome.com.
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