In Memory of




Obituary for Howard L. Despaw

NORFOLK – Surrounded by his loving wife and children, Howard Lloyd Despaw, 82, of South Main Street, passed away Saturday afternoon, January 18, 2020 after a brief illness.

Howard was born May 2, 1937 in Norfolk, the son of the late Howard G. and Margaret (Donie) Despaw. He attended Norfolk schools. On August 31, 1956, he entered the US Army, serving during the Korean War with the Artillary Division and honorably discharged in 1962. On November 28, 1959, he married Sylvia Ann Davis at St. John’s Church. On Thanksgiving Day 2019, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Howard worked for a time at the Norfolk Paper Mill, before going work at Kraft Foods in Canton where he was a cheesemaker. He retired in 1998 after 29 years of service. He was currently a 40-year member of the Norfolk American Legion Post 925, Gerald R. Roy AMVETS Post 4, VFW Post 1143; and a Life Member of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 284, where he served as their treasurer for 13 years. He was also a past member of the Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department, where he was recently honored for his years of service. Over the past three years, he has become a member with 3 Senior Clubs, Norwood Golden Agers, Norfolk Jolly Agers, and most of all Massena Senior Citizens. Since his retirement, he has enjoyed many events including trips, dances, and dinners.

Howard is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Sylvia; his children and their spouses, Shari and Jim Hartigan, Shelly M. Despaw, Sean and Michelle Despaw, and Sharlene and Scott Lantry; 12 grandchildren, Shawn C. (Jodie), Shannon, Lisa (Matt), Sean Michael, Lee, Jessica, Alex, Amy, Nathaniel (Emily), Andrew L., Emily L. and Erin L.; and his great grandson, Paul Robert.

He is also survived by his sister, Sally French of East Syracuse; his brothers, Billy and Midge Kovach, Terry and Naomie Despaw, and Robert and Pat Despaw; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters, Nancy Purves and Joan James.

Per Howard’s wishes, there will be no public calling hours. A celebration of his life will be held at the Massena Senior Citizens at a time to be announced in the spring.

In lieu of flowers those wishing may consider donations to Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley or Massena Senior Citzens, 61 Beach Street, Massena, New York 13662.