John P. Howaniec, 1924 - 2015




Howaniec Obit pic

 John P. Howaniec, 90, of 21 Boston Ave., Lewiston, died peacefully at dawn on Feb. 21, at d’Youville Pavillion, with family by his side. He was born on November 12, 1924, in Lewiston, on a farm without electricity on Gayton Road. His parents, Anthony and Tekla Howaniec, emigrated from Poland in 1914, arriving in Lewiston to work in its textile mills and raise a family. John was one of five children that were raised on the farm in south Lewiston.  He went to school in a one-room schoolhouse.  In 1943, at the age of 18, he was drafted into the United States Army.  He served as a private first class during World War II in North Africa and Italy, as part of a generation that helped to save the world.  He and his fellow servicemen landed in Casablanca in 1943, made their way through Morocco and Algeria, and crossed the Mediterranean to Napoli.  He was in Rome during the liberation of that city by the Allies and through the end of the war in 1945. He rarely discussed the war and never sought accolades for his service.  He lost a brother, Frank, to tuberculosis contracted during the war. Upon his return from Europe in 1945 he met the love of his life, Annette Rousseau, a young woman who had graduated at the top of her class at St. Dom’s High School.  Annette had grown up in Little Canada after her parents arrived from Quebec province to work in the textile mills of Lewiston. He was married to Annette for 50 years.  John worked for 40 years in the weave room at the W.S. Libbey textile mill in Lewiston, never missing a day of work.  Annette worked for many years in the purchasing department at St. Mary’s Hospital.  They worked very hard but always found time to have fun.  They had just celebrated their fiftieth anniversary prior to her death in January of 2005. Together they raised three boys, Jim, Tom, and Dan, in a tiny apartment on Laurier Street in Lewiston, a happy household not wealthy materially but rich in many other ways.  John and Annette allowed their boys to thrive, always prioritizing education, sports, and moral upbringing in their lives.  John was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Parish. They did many family activities together but perhaps most loved the ocean.  On summer weekends and during his one week of vacation in July each year he and Annette would take the children to Popham Beach, Reid State Park, and Old Orchard Beach, and on trips to Connecticut to visit relatives.  He was an avid Red Sox fan from his childhood, often recounting the feats of his favorite player, fellow veteran Ted Williams. He was a humble and kind man, who never complained and who always put his family first. He enjoyed reading the newspapers and tending to his small white home with blue shutters, hedges, and a pear tree on Boston Avenue in Lewiston.  His beloved grandchildren, Samantha, Jack, and Anna, visited often and brought much joy into his house. He touched many people with his kindness and gentleness and will be missed greatly. The family is forever grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Brown and the staffs at d’Youville Pavillion, St. Mary’s Rehab Center, and Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice for their compassion during John’s final days. John is survived by his three sons, Jim Howaniec, of Lewiston, Tom Howaniec and wife, Barbara, of Auburn, and Dan Howaniec, of Lewiston; three grandchildren, Samantha Howaniec, of Brookline, Mass., Jack Howaniec, of Auburn, and Anna Howaniec, of Auburn; his sister-in-law, Janet Howaniec, of Punta Gorda, Florida; his sister-in-law, Jeannine Blais, of Lewiston; his brother- and sister-in-law, Raymond and Diana Rousseau, of Pittsfield, Mass.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Annette Rousseau Howaniec; his father, Anthony Howaniec; his mother, Tekla Kolano Howaniec; his sister, Jennie Howaniec Samson; and his three brothers, each of whom also served in World War II: Joseph Howaniec, Stanley Howaniec, and Frank Howaniec. 



Funeral Notice


HOWANIEC, John, 90, of Lewiston, died in Lewiston on Saturday, February 21, 2015. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, 9 - 11 AM, with a Liturgy of the Word service in the funeral home at 11 AM. Interment in the spring, Mt. Hope Cemetery. Donations may be made in John’s name to the Lewiston Public Library, Memorial Book Fund, 200 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240,  or a charity of choice. 




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© Gerald Burpee 2016