Melvin Jerry Howard, 78, passed away Sunday, October 11, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his family.

Born Aug. 2, 1942 in Novi, MI, he was a son of George and Marie (Ketcherside) Howard.  They both preceded him in death as well as his stepfather, Walter Howard.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Jerry retired as assistant manager at Dome Railway Services and Metro East Industries.  He was a very active member of Holy Angels Catholic Church and the Wood River Moose Lodge.  He enjoyed bowling, birdwatching, mushroom hunting and riding his motorcycle.  His greatest passions were fishing/hunting and reading.

He married Betty J. (Rulo) Fry Aug. 18, 1986 in Wood River.  She survives, along with his children, Evelyn (Asya Fisher) Howard, Destiny (Cody) Hanner, Brian Fry, and Kimberly Savage; numerous “adopted” children; a grandson, Zachary Fry; two great grandchildren; a sister, Irene (Bill) Boaz; a brother, Lawrence Howard; many nieces and nephews; and his two beloved grand-dogs, Milo and Ivar.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Wood River, where Father Donald Wolford will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.  He will be laid to rest at Valhalla Memorial Park in Godfrey, with military honors by Alton VFW Post #1308.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to BJC Hospice in Alton and Holy Angels Catholic Church.

Professional services entrusted to Paynic Home for Funerals, with an online guestbook available at

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