Dennis Dean “Denny” Howson passed away on May 2, 2023 in Bellingham, WA. He embraced life and lived with grace even after being diagnosed with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy eight years ago. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to say goodbye as he left this world surrounded by love.
Family mattered most to Denny so that’s where we’ll start. He is survived by an adoring group of loved ones who already miss him terribly: wife Linda, daughters Maegan and Leah, stepson Rob and Rob’s soon-to-be wife Sarah, and grandchildren Cyrus, Ryann, Kai, Amara, Brielle, Ashton and Ellie. He is also survived by siblings Kathy Howson, Jerry Howson, Lori Sheppard, Leslie Kinkade and Kim Compton. He was preceded in death by his sister Jan Hilbi.
Denny’s lifelong devotion to his older sister Kathy is of special note. He was a steady, ever-present force in her life – encouraging her independence, supporting her through the ups and downs of relationships and cheering her on at Special Olympics swim meets. They shared a unique bond full of mutual love and support in which they each received as much as they gave.
Denny was born in Spokane, WA on August 31, 1949 to Joyce and Les Kinkade. He grew up in Kirkland, WA and graduated from Lake Washington High School in 1967. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1971.
He joined the Seattle Fire Department in 1983 where he served until his retirement in 2014. He spent his entire career in the north Queen Anne and Ballard community. Within his company, he was known for his fierce loyalty, love of the job, kind and calm manner, and killer enchiladas.
In his final days, Denny’s friends and family sent letters to be read to him. They tell the story of an exceptional husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He was also referred to as a “real man” – not because he was ripped (which he would like us to remind you, he was) but because of the care, compassion, appreciation and attention he paid to his family, friends, fellow firefighters and the citizens of Seattle he proudly served for 31 years.
The letters celebrate Denny’s love of travel, food, wine, dahlias, Alfa Romeos and the Rolling Stones. And they describe a man who never met a home improvement project he didn’t like – especially at the family cabin on Lake Cavanaugh where he spent his summers with family and friends. Denny loved and laughed with the best of them and he’d want you to do the same.
We are profoundly grateful for the compassionate caregivers who were by his side in the last days of his life.
A celebration of life will be held on June 3 at 3:00 PM at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. A private family gathering at Enterprise Cemetery will precede his celebration of life.
Family suggests memorial donations be made in Denny's name to VSED Resources Northwest or Bellingham Food Bank.