Howie crossed over to eternal fishing grounds on June 3, 2019. Blessed with 78 years on this earth, he was first and foremost a proud father, grandfather and brother. Howie was proud to be from Ashland and an Oredocker. To all that knew Howie, he was “their” friend. Reminiscences evoke many stories (some of epic proportion) revolving around his athletic prowess, understated humor, his unequivocal success as a hunter and fisherman, or his (mostly) gentle good nature-especially if one bought him a drink or three.
Howie was born to Anthony & Lila (Riel) Dietz on September 6 or 7, 1940. He played basketball, football and baseball, graduating from AHS in 1959, and maintained lifelong friendships with many of his classmates. Following graduation, Howie enlisted in the US Navy, serving four years with an honorable discharge. He attended UW-Superior. Howie married Joyce Lemieux on May 8, 1965 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Ashland. From that union Sue and Michael were born-a highlight of Howie’s life.
Howie worked at American Can; as a switchman on the railroad and as an over the road driver for Halvor Lines. Holding a Six-Pack Captain's License, he chartered the Poseidon, Seven R’s and Karen II out of Bayfield. As a regular participant in Media Fishing Day, Howie helped to build Chequamegon Bay’s reputation as a trolling hot spot. Howie’s entrepreneurial spirit always got him into something, from bar ownership to cutting firewood and many things in between.
Throughout Howie’s life, he was most content outdoors, especially in Bayfield and on Madeline Island. Hunting season “on the rock” was an annual highlight with his son Michael and best friend/deer hunting partner Lee. Twenty-three seasons, belly laughs, happy memories and always… venison in the freezer.
“Mugs” was Howie’s “Cheers”. He loved shooting pool and shooting the breeze. Howie was a good golfer and was a sought after player for scrambles as a great long-ball hitter! He longed for one more fishing trip with Mike on “the flats” and that will happen.
His daughter Sue, son Michael, grandson Sam and granddaughter Lily survive Howie. They were his most competent and loving caregivers. He is also survived by sister Delores Jackson, brothers Don (Pat) Dietz and Dennis Dietz along with nieces and nephews and many friends. He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Thomas, Robert (Bob) and David Dietz. When all is said and done, family was most important to Howie. Following his grandson’s birth fifteen years ago, Howie left Bayfield and came “home” to be close to his extended family, living in the old neighborhood! He will be buried with his parents at St. Agnes Cemetery.
Howie’s family extends special thanks to caregivers at Ashland Health & Rehab during his stays there, and to those at Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center.
For all that shared Howie’s love of animals, memorials are appreciated to the Chequamegon Humane Association, 923 Rail Drive, Ashland, WI 54806
A Celebration of Howie’s life will be held on Sunday, June 9th at 1:00 PM at the North Wisconsin Rod & Gun Club, 67032 Sloughs Lane, Ashland. Lunch will follow. All are welcome
In the meantime, standing by on Channel 16, Captain!
The Roberts Funeral Home in Ashland is assisting the family with arrangements.
To view this obituary online, sign the guestbook or express online condolences, visit us at www.bratleyfamilyfuneralhomes.com