William Jack Howard, 88, died September 13, 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Georgia. He is survived by his daughter, Melissa Howard of Cedar Crest; his son Andrew and wife Sandra Howard of Chicago; his granddaughter Rebecca Howard and husband Oliver Soell; grandson Gabriel Howard; and his dog Cruces. A memorial service will begin at 2:00 p.m. Monday, September 27, 2010, at Sandia Presbyterian Church, 10704 Paseo del Norte NE.
Jack was born in Kimball, NE, to Carl Howard, an agriculture professor, and Agnes Howard. He graduated from Las Cruces High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University. He served in the infantry in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II, earning the rank of captain and the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. Jack was a charter employee of Sandia National Laboratories, working in weapons testing and nuclear safety before becoming an administrator. He was the first director of Sandia’s laboratory in Livermore, CA. He took leaves from Sandia to serve as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy and as a delegate to the US / USSR strategic arms limitation talks. He served as executive vice president of Sandia from 1973 to 1982 before retiring to enjoy fly fishing, golf, and his home and family. He received an honorary doctorate from NMSU and a Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Defense Department. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1979, and in August 2010 became the third member of the Sandia Laboratories Hall of Fame.