Howard Edwin Munson (1937-2009) Howard E. Munson, 72, entered God's Eternal Kingdom on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. He was surrounded by his loving family when he was called home. Howard was a devoted husband, caring father and grandfather, loyal friend, and true American patriot. He was born on January 23, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan to Lucille and Howard Munson, Sr. Howard joined the US Air Force in 1956 and served his country for 53 years, protecting our nation and its DOD space systems. Howard was a dedicated worker in the field of security engineering, where he mentored many and was highly respected by his peers and global community. His passions included travel, watching sports, cooking, his family, and the military. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Daniel and sister Nora. Howard is survived by his devoted wife, Gloria, his daughters Nancy (Mike), Linda (Greg), Valarie (Craig), his stepdaughter Nicole and his five grandchildren; Veronica, Nolan, and Sydney Kraft, Cory and Jade Gehr, his two sisters Joanne and Sharon and numerous nephews and nieces. His caring and generous nature, avid storytelling and renowned sense of humor will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 21 from 11am - 2pm at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd, Torrance. A service will take place at Rice Mortuary the following day, Friday, May 22, 2009 at 10am. A reception celebrating his beautiful life will immediately follow. Internment with full military honors will begin at 2:00pm at Green Hills Cemetery, 27501 South Western Avenue, Rancho Palos Verdes. Donations may be sent in lieu of flowers to the Disabled American God Saw That You Were Tired… God saw you were getting tired and a cure was not to be, So He put His arms around you and whispered "Come with Me." With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you fade away, Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands to rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best! We Love You and Miss You.

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  1. I learned so much from Howard and will miss his sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Deb

  2. Gloria just wanted to let you know that you are not alone (Your Security Staff) is here for you at anytime you need us – just to listen, or to talk. Please, don’t hesitate to call at home or work.

  3. Dear Linda,Greg, Valerie,Craig, Nancy,Mike,and all – Our deepest sympathy – We know how much he was loved and will be missed.May the good memories of his life comfort you during this time of sorrow. You know God has him with him now!! Love Wendy & Mom

  4. Howard was a mind before his time. I was fortunate enough to be one of his mentored. Howard was much more than an expert in space security engineering as his obituary credits. As a retired Security Police Chief, leader, manager, supervisor and most importantly mentor, he shared his experience and knowledge with all, regardless of position In this he transformed security management from an afterthought to the forefront of acquisition planning. We have no schools to pass-on Howard’s experiences…he was truly a path pathfinder in space acquisition security management. He’s also a pretty good dude, father and family man. Gloria and family, I thank you for sharing Howard with the rest of us. God Bless. v/r, Dave Kelley

  5. My heartfelt sentiments go out to Gloria and her entire family in this time of loss. May God grant you peace and comfort in this time of need.

  6. Gloria and Family, Our sympathy to you and your family. May God Bless you and protect your family. V/R, Kim and John Nguyen

  7. Gloria & Family, It was my honor to know and work with Howard – he’ll be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  8. Nic and Mrs. Gloroia, I am terribly sorry for your loss. It was a blessing to become acquainted with Mr. Munson for just the short time I did. I am praying for your comfort and serenity. God Bless you and your family.

  9. In this time of sadness you must also be so proud of this kind and gentle man. Although I did not know him well, I remember him as always willing to help and considerate of others. May your sorrow be blessed with peace in having had him in your life. Regards, Linda

  10. What a kind man he was. The first job I had when I came to LAAFB, in 1978, was with Security. Howard hired me. It was the beginning of many years of a great friendship. In the last few years, when we’d run into each other he would laugh and say, “Diane, you still here?”, and I would say the same to him. Rest In Peace Howard.

  11. Gloria, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Howard was one-of-a-kind and my friend. His caring spirit and humor will be missed. Howard can now entertain the angels with all his stories and humor. Rest in Peace My Friend

  12. Howard will be greatly missed. His amazing knowledge of security engineering will be sorely missed. I enjoyed working with Howard over the last couple of years and our sharing stories of past experiences. I wish his family the best and they are in my prayers. Frank Hughey

  13. Thinking of all of you there in CA. God works in mysterious ways. Dad and Uncle Howie were reunited just last fall, and now they are together again. We wish they were here with us, but God needed to call them home for some reason. My heart goes out to you, Gloria, and Nancy, Linda, Valarie, Nichole, and their families. And of course to Mom who just got out there to see Howie before he passed on. Again, mysterious ways… Love and peace from all the family here in Michigan! Love, Katie

  14. To Nancy and her family: I never had the chance to meet your dad, but knowing your kind and generous spirit helps me know what kind of person he was. I am so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.

  15. Gloria…My heartfelt condolence goes out to you and your entire family in this time of loss. May you feel God’s love and presence and may He grant you peace, comfort, and strength.

  16. Gloria and Family: please accept my condolences–Howard will be truly missed…”Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for strength, and always remember how much you are cared about.” Pauline Gomez

  17. Gloria & Family, It was my pleasure to know Howard before his passing. His memories will be around forever. I want to send my condolences in this time of reflection. -BK

  18. Gloria, You are in my thoughts and prayers! Know that you have many family members and friends who are here to support you. Howard, there aren’t enough words to describe what you were to me. “Phenomenal Leader, Phenomenal Mentor, Phenomenal FRIEND”. You will be missed.

  19. Howard has touched so many lives with his humor, kindness and kind nature. He will be greatly missed in this world. My hearts go out to the family. Hugs, Myrna

  20. I never had the pleasure to meet Howard personally but he always meant the world to his daughters. Our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to Valarie, Linda, Nancy and their loved ones.

  21. To Gloria and Family, If I’ve learned anything through the years, it’s that nothing beautiful in this world is ever really lost. Those we cherish will always live on in memory. Howard’s presence will be greatly missed, but the knowledge and wisdom he shared with many will continue to live on. With heartfelt condolences, Rosemary & Family

  22. A true icon of America’s Space and National Security programs has passed. He will be sorely missed by those of us who knew and worked with him.

  23. Howard will truly be missed but never forgotten; he was a pioneer in the world of acquisition security and will forever have a lasting impact on many.

  24. To Gloria and Family, Elizabeth and I send our sincere condolences for your loss. We will keep Howard, you and your family in our prayers. Joe Fury

  25. Sorrow So now it has our complete attention, and we are made whole. We take it into our hands like a rope, grateful and tethered, freed from waiting for it to happen. It is here, precisely as we imagined. If the man has died, if the child’s illness has taken a sudden turn, if the house has burned in the middle of night and in winter, there is at least a kind of stopping that will pass for peace. Now when we speak it is with a great seriousness, and when we touch it is with our own fingers, and when we listen it is with our big eyes that have looked at a thing and have not blinked. There is no longer any reason to distrust us. When it leaves it will leave like summer, and we will remember it as a break in something that had seemed as unrelenting as coming rain and we will be sorry to see it go. Marie Howe from “The Good Thief”

  26. In Blackwater Woods Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment, the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. Mary Oliver

  27. Autumn Rain Do not stand by my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints upon the snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain and I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am that swift uplifting rush, Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand by my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die. Anonymous

  28. Remember BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann’d: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

  29. Dear Gloria and family, Howard’s service was so moving and beautiful, and while we left feeling a sense of loss over Howard’s passing, we also felt a sense of peace knowing that he is in God’s loving arms, and a sense of gratefulness for all he did for our country. What an amazing life! We will miss Howard’s presence at ole’ 237 N. Irena, and we especially appreciated how kind he was to our boys (at Halloween Jack and Joey always looked forward to the little “something special” Howard had for them!) Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you; we’re only a door away… Sincerely, Cee-Cee, Danny, Jack, Joey and “Duke” Murphy

  30. TRIBUTE WRITTEN BY DAUGHTER LINDA MUNSON (HOLT) AND READ AT THE MEMORIAL Dad, I want to thank you for always being there,…holding my hand at the bus stop every other year for yet another new school. You knew that I was afraid. Thank you for taking time out of your busy work schedule to take me to the many doctor and dental appts. You never complained about taking time out for us and you always wanted the family together for outdoor drive in movies, barbeque picnics, and for popcorn and sky slide rides at Wigwam. We loved your barbeques, Dad… but we always had to warn the fire department before you started.! You were the KING OF the FLAME when it came to cooking on the grill!! The master of the “one minute burger”. Dad, I know the last few months were not so good for you…I felt for you terribly, but at the same time…by taking care of you for the past 6 weeks, I have to tell you that I really looked forward to coming over everyday and going downstairs to your hearty greeting “ HI Linda!” Being able to spend time with you watching movies, discussing the news, and debating American Idol and House, was a hidden blessing for me. As your health declined, the simple things in life became big treasures. Like parking at the beach and rolling down the windows and smelling the ocean air! Like a small bowl of sherbert or a stop off for our “happy meals”. Just a simple draping of a warm blanket over your chilled body brought out a “oh…that feels so good”. Thank you Dad for allowing me to take care of you and for allowing me into your private space, our father / daughter time together will always be precious memories for me. I have recently questioned whether or not you have left us at the right time. But, I now know that we all die in the Lord’s time. Sure…we can postpone dying by taking care of our bodies and being cautious, but, at the end of the day… we are not in the hands of cancer, organ failures, or heart disease…we are – after all…in the hands of God. In the midst of all the pain and suffering, Jesus died at the “right time”, and you also Dad…in the midst of all of your pain and suffering …left us at the “right time”. I miss you already Dad, and will forever… I love you. Linda

  31. TRIBUTE WRITTEN BY SON-IN-LAW GREG HOLT AND READ AT THE MEMORIAL How do you measure a man? Do you measure his greatness in his belongings…his fancy cars, his love of money…his wonderful vacation home? If we’re talking about Howard Munson, he didn’t have any of these. What then was his value? Can you measure a man by how he speaks about himself or by his rank? I don’t think so…I believe that you CAN measure a man by looking at what he holds dear, by listening to what others have to say about him…by looking at what he had to give, by looking into his heart and by feeling the sincerity in his words, …and whether or not he stood by those words. When we try to measure the man, Howard Munson, we know what he held dear…his wife, his family, his work, co-workers and …his country. When we measure Howard by listening to what others had to say about him…his value was beyond reproach. We cannot begin to understand the impact Howard had on those who worked with him, and on the industry itself, that he was so strongly dedicated to. When we attempt to measure Howard Munson, as a man, what did he have to give? I feel very confident that I can speak for everyone who knew Howard, and say that Howard was one of the biggest “givers” that we know. Howard would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. Mostly, it was the sharing of his knowledge and the giving of himself, his time. Was he a mentor to many? You bet he was. Did he give to his family, you bet…did he give to his country? You better believe it! When we measure Howard Munson, was he sincere in his feelings, and did he keep his word. I, for one, can tell you… that for the past 32 years, I have never had the need to question him on either one of those matters. How do you measure a man? I don’t know about you, but when I put Howard Munson to the test…I found a man that stood on the pinnacle of all of these ideals…on what he held dear, …on what others thought and spoke of him,…on what he had to give to us, and the fact that he was a man of his word. Howard loved his family and Howard loved his country. America lost a true patriot on Tuesday morning… There are some that believe that our country is in decline and I can tell you, that if there were more men of honor, like Howard Munson, the United States of America would have nothing to worry about. America will miss you Howard…and so will I .

  32. A Tribute to my Dad, Blue Eyes, Golden Heart… Piercing blue eyes with a sparkle and a flicker, Matching big smile, sometimes with a snicker. Silly sense of humor and charismatic storyteller, Easy-going disposition with an underlying temper. Enormous giver, never asking for much in return, So many hidden talents, we’ve only recently learned. Respected and admired by so many he has mentored, A dedicated patriot, so seasoned and so centered. A husband who was always willing to shop, clean and cook, A dad who wore so many hats, not always by the book. Health issues plagued him for so much of his life, Yet he always had an inner strength to get him through the strife. A believer in the Lord, our Father, creator of Heaven and Earth, We hope he realized the enormity of his life and all its value and worth. Thank you Dad… Thank you dad for everything big and small that you have done for me, For carrying me to bed all those nights when I was little, For working so hard to provide for us, For creating the wicked tickling game zit zodder –which I have respectfully passed on to my own children, For spelling my name unconventionally, making it more unique, For all the lunches you packed, For all those nights you stayed up on Christmas Eve wrapping and putting together gifts, For all the mementos you brought me from your travels around the world, For squeezing my knee right when we were at the top of a roller coaster, ready to drop, For surprising me with my first car, a white dodge colt and for teaching me how to drive a stick shift, For showing me patience and teaching me that imperfection is okay, For teaching me about perseverance and forgiveness, And for being such a wonderful daddy and grandpa I love you and I will always be your baby girl! Thank you God for the peace of knowing where my daddy is and that we will be together again. Love Forever, Valarie Thank you Howard….. I have a few words I would like to say about Howard. • Thank you Howard for Valarie. • Thank you Howard for your amazing sense of humor. • Thank you for always treating me like the son you never had. Finally, we never really knew what Howard’s job really consisted of and are only now learning just how important he was to this country. Every person in this room and every American owes many thanks to Howard for his dedication to this country. Howard made this country a safer place for everyone and this country is a much safer place because of his work. Rest in peace Howard and God bless you. Craig

  33. Gloria and family, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Howard’s death while I was on leave last week. Howard was the most knowledegable secuirty person I know and was a bulldog for the things he believed in and was expert in. I just talked to Howard in the lobby several months ago and thought he was on the road to recovery. SMC will miss his talents. Linda and I extend our prayers and sympathy to your entire family. It is extremely hard to loose someone you love and our prayers our that God will provide comfort for you all during the coming months. It does not get easy and you do not forget, but thankfully we do find ways to move on and our loved ones remain in our hearts forever. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Very Respectfully, Tom and Linda Fitzgerald

  34. A letter from Howard’s wife Gloria, as read by Nicole Amador (daughter) at Howard’s chapel service: Dear Sweetie, Today I am reminded of the get well card I wrote to you (before we were married) stating to “let the winds of illness pass through without dispair and take refuge in the knowledge that I am here to share my strength and comfort you. Ease yourself of all burdens and lay them upon God, for He is with you always. Be still and listen not only to the written words but to the unspoken truths.” And now that you are with God, rest easy my love for I am well and looking forward to the day we shall meet again. Thank you for every minute of every day we had together, I shall cherrish the love, laughter, friendship and memories always. Your Loving Wife, Gloria P.S. I am wearing your favorite perfume channel 5!

  35. Dear Gloria and family, Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Howard was a larger than life person and I’m sure his passing left a large emptiness in your life. I remember one conversation Howard and I had back in 1996 after every one had left the office…he asked what I thought would be the most important thing I would want people to say about me at the end of my life,…I told him I wanted to be remembered for having made a positive difference of some kind during my life, I wanted to be remembered. We agreed that for the most part all of us want to feel our lives have made a difference. I think everyone that knew Howard would agree that he made a big difference in many aspects of his life. He was a loyal friend, a humorous man, a patriot and without a doubt a progressive, charismatic and passionate man in his chosen field of protecting US space assets. I will never forget him.

  36. The tribute was very beautiful. I only wish I had the opportunity to meet him before he passed. I will keep all of the family and friends in my prayers. God bless.

  37. Dear Linda, Nancy, Valerie, and families, I did not know your father but I can see by his smile and the love in all of your eyes, he was a special and wonderful man and father. I know his absence is huge and the hole in your hearts is unfilled. I pray his memory will be strong in your hearts giving you the courage to continue living lives that reflect his love and devotion to you. Much love, karen

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