Aug. 11, 1918 - Nov. 25, 2012
A memorial service will be held at a later date for Howard Howe Leatherman, 94, of Myrtle Point.
Howard was born Aug. 11, 1918, in Myrtle Point to Samuel Lloyd Leatherman and Selata Howe Leatherman. He died Nov. 25, 2012, in North Bend.
His mother’s family was one of the first settlers in Dora, east of Myrtle Point. His grandfather Howe chose to settle in Dora because it was “as far from civilization” as he was willing to go. To Howe, Roseburg was civilization; Empire City was not. Howard’s father’s side of the family had settled in the Willamette Valley. His parents were married in Marshfield. He was the youngest of four children.
Howard attended high school in Myrtle Point. He worked at a cheese factory in Gravelford as a young man where he met his first wife, Helen May deBoer. They were married in 1943 and had three children: Janet, Nancy and Dennis. He later married Angela Melani Casebier who brought her daughter, Sharon, to the family. His third wife, Louise Looney DeLong, added four more children to his life: Jim, Carla, Carrie and Julie.
In his late 20s, Howard worked on a dairy ranch in Lee Valley. He moved to Fairview where he purchased the Coos County Sheep Company in Fairview in 1946. Here he worked as a sheepherder, as he called himself, for about 30 years. His ranch transitioned into a cattle ranch and eventually, letting Mother Nature take its course, the land transitioned into a timber operation. Howard loved his ranch. He also loved his large equipment and was famous for his skill with it. Long after losing all feeling in his feet, he climbed on his TD-25 for the last time when he was 92 to build a fire trail around the 2011 logging unit. He also was known for his love of slash burning following a logging operation.
Howard and Louise moved to Powers in 1972. He loved the town of Powers and was very active in helping earn money for the school sport programs. He helped the teams earn money for travel to the various out of town football games. He and Louise traveled with the Powers Cruisers to Medford, Oklahoma, and to Gordon, Texas for the eight man football national championship. There was seldom a day that would go by without one or more school kids dropping up to visit “Grandpa Howard.” The entire town knew that they were welcome at any time to drop by to visit, and did so often.
He was a member of the Coquille School Board for several years, the Coquille Rotary, and a member of the Elks Club, where he once famously rode his horse up the wooden steps of the Elks Club! He was also a member of the Lions Club in Powers.
He is survived by Louise Leatherman, his wife of 44 years; by his children, Janet Ivarie and her husband, Kraig Kramers, Nancy Clarke and Terrell, Sharon Laird and Alan, Jim DeLong and Ann, Carla Blanton, Carrie Cusick and Scott, Julie Possee and Charlie; his grandchildren, Anne Joos, Spencer Clarke, Dustin Clarke, Mitchel Clarke and Tara MacSween, as well as Louise’s grandchildren, Charles DeLong, Christina Ryback, Rachel Nyleen, Rodney Blanton, Tommy John Blanton, Adam Blanton, Shannon Miller, and Josh Selzer; and numerous great-grandchildren, all of whom were his delight. He was Grandpa and Great-Grandpa to a multitude of extended family members. He liked to be called Great-Grandpa by his great-grandchildren, a title he most definitely earned. He had a special knack for charming bashful children onto his lap.
Howard is also survived by his brother, Kenneth Leatherman and wife, Arlene of Portland; and his sister, Julia Myrl Miller Ranta of Silver Spring, Md.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Selata Leatherman; his brother, Charles Leatherman; and his son, Dennis Dean Leatherman.
Donations in the name of Howard Leatherman may be made to Powers High School Scholarship Fund, c/o Ellen Baldwin, P.O. Box 479, Powers, OR 97466.
Arrangements are under the direction of Myrtle Grove Funeral Service, 541-396-3158.