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Having retired from an IT career in a hospital system in Sacramento, California (and prior to that, as a pastor for 15 years in the Appalachians in eastern Kentucky), Howie and his wife, Valerie, moved to Albuquerque from Sacramento, California last year.
While he lived in Sacramento, two of Howie's children became involved with the Sacramento Youth Symphony, where Howie volunteered many hours handling a wide variety of responsibilities.
Howie is also a professional photographer and he served not only as the photographer for SYS, but also as the official photographer for the Folsom Lake Symphony for 10 years. Howie was also a musician himself in years past, playing the clarinet for many years, then moving on to the folk music scene, performing with folk groups in the early 70's playing guitar, banjo, hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, autoharp, Irish whistle, and recorder.