Derek Abbot Howard
Derek Abbot Howard
  • February 5, 1949 - January 1, 2018
  • Tampa, Florida

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Derek “Dee” Howard died peacefully in Tampa Bay, Florida on January 1, 2018 at the age of 68 years young. He served our country for 4 years and is a Veteran of the United States Air Force. Derek is survived by his wife of 48 years, Christine Howard, his three daughters, Deena McCreath, Tracy Fry, and Shannon Howard, his two grandchildren, Carys “Cokie” McCreath and Arden “Ardie” McCreath, and his twin sister, Pam Eckert.

Derek was born on February 5, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York. He spent his childhood and teenage years growing up in Southampton, NY. He graduated Southampton High School in 1966. Derek married Christine Howard, his high school sweetheart in 1969. After relocating to Tampa, Florida, Derek discovered his love for aircraft. He worked as an aircraft mechanic for over 30 years when he retired at the age of 60. Over the years, the couple welcomed 3 children into their home. Derek’s children remember him as a kind, gentle, and giving father who encouraged them to enjoy life just as he did. Derek was an accomplished drummer and found his passion for playing music at a very young age. He started in a band “The Journeymen” as a teenage boy and continued playing drums throughout all his adulthood. He was an active guy who enjoyed weekend gigs with his band Encore. He was a generous individual who is described as a “glass half full kind of guy.” He was passionate about playing the drums, going to car shows with his 1966 Baracuda, cooking and eating out. His favorite expression was “this was the best I’ve ever had.”

Derek was a wonderful husband, father, and friend and brother. He loved life, loved his band, loved his classic car “Thumper” and most importantly, loved his family. He had a special soft spot for his Granddaughters Carys and Arden. He loved to talk to anyone and would give the shirt off his back without hesitation. Derek’s time with us was too short. However, God needed a drummer in Heaven. In honor of his memory, a private service will be held for family and a celebration of life will be held in February that will welcome all.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation to help find a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries.