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HOWARD SOON MAR
July 26, 1951 - February 15, 2020
Howard Mar passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 15, 2020.
Howard is survived by his siblings: Phyllis (Wayne), Joy (Dean), Bea (Len) and Sinclair (Sarina). He is also survived by his many nieces and nephews: Chris (Erika), Marissa, Reese, Jason (Shelly), Nicole, Stefanie, Byron and Colin. They loved their Uncle How’s sense of humour and his genuine interest in their lives. He regularly gave them unsolicited advice to which they listened patiently and occasionally followed.
Howard will be greatly missed by his numerous friends who have enriched his life throughout his many years in Winnipeg. Howard appreciated very much the love, help and support from his close friends who stood by him through his many health challenges.
Howard grew up in Nanaimo, B.C. where he developed his love of music and first joined the air cadets. He went to Vancouver, B.C. to complete his post-secondary education in music.
Howard spent many years as a business educator, marketing director and financial advisor. However, his greatest love was in the area of music. Howard was a music educator, musician and conductor. He has performed with the HMCS Chippawa Band, the Regimental Band of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the PPCLI Band and the Air Command Band, as well as with numerous civilian bands and orchestras. He influenced and inspired many students as he shared his passion with countless students in many cadet bands and community bands.
While living in Alberta, he was a faculty member at Red Deer College with responsibility as Music Instructor, Performing Arts Coordinator, Continuing Education Programmer and Theatre Manager. He was also President of the Red Deer Allied Arts Council, President of Central Alberta Theatre,
Director of the Red Deer Concert Society, Leader of “In the Mood” Big Band and Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Howard served twenty years with several Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons as commanding Officer, Training Officer and Band Officer. He served for twenty-five years at summer camps in Penhold and Cold Lake as Officer Commanding Music Training and Officer Commanding Senior Leaders. He was the Provincial and Regional Cadet Music Advisor for twenty years. Howard was the Chairman of the Manitoba Provincial Committee (2011 -2014) and was elected to be a Governor of the Air Cadet League of Canada in 2016. He was the founder/Chair of the Manitoba Military Tattoo, founder/Chair of the Manitoba Seniors Music Festival, Chair of Manitoba Seniors Achievement Awards and Chair of the Organ Donation Awareness Society.
Most recently, Howard was the music director for the National Air Cadet League, sat on the Board of Governors for the National League, was on the Board of Directors for the Provincial League and was a Civilian Instructor of band and effective speaking for two squadrons and was the director of the Manitoba Air Cadet Concert Band and the Manitoba Air Cadet Brass Sextet. He was very much involved in effective speaking for the cadets as he thought this would be a beneficial life-skill for them.
Howard was a "mainstay" in the Winnipeg music community. He played trumpet in a variety of community bands; including Westwood, Northwinds, Legion 252, Murray Riddell Big Band, and Westworth. He is perhaps best appreciated for his work in co-starting the Friday Morning Concert Band; helping those eager adult music students improve their skills. Howard constantly believed that making music together would improve our world, and he dedicated himself to that purpose.
Howard received many awards during his career including the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Canadian Forces Decoration and Bar.
Howard was a man of strong convictions who consistently demonstrated strength, courage and humour in all his endeavours. Howard had big ideas that came to fruition and did not let parameters, such as a limited budget, hold him back from producing extraordinary performances. His sense of humour and wit was unique. He even had a few tuba players follow him in the halls of the music training centre to play the music of Darth Vader to indicate a bad mood and the A&W root beer tune for a good mood.
We would like to express our appreciation for the excellent care that Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre has provided Howard for many years with his various medical procedures. We would also like to acknowledge and express our thanks for the caring medical and emotional support by the Intensive Care staff, as well as, the fifth floor staff at Grace Hospital in Winnipeg.
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