John (Jack) Howard, also known as Silverfox, unexpectedly passed away at Panama City Beach, Florida, on September 17.
He left behind his children, Jeff, Brad, Craig, Jan, Mark, Ellen, their mother Audrey and their families.
He was a great friend of many people in the Yukon and will be missed. He was very talented at making unique gold nugget jewellery and, at one time, he worked for the Bell telephone company for 27 years.
He quit Bell to build houses, starting Howard Custom Builders, which operated around North Bay, Ontario.
In an interview with Patty O’Brien for my magazine in 1998, he mentioned, “‘After building 250 homes, I had to set out for new adventures and, eventually, headed for the Yukon on a Honda CX500.’
“He was in and out of the territory many times.
“‘In 1979, I rode one of them up the newly opened Dempster Highway. It was one of the first vehicles to reach Inuvik.’
“His record is 1,500 kilometres in one day, out of Missoula, Montana.”
Silverfox saw much of the world during the Second World War aboard ships of the Royal Canadian Navy.
“‘Victory found me in Scotland, so I hopped aboard the HMCS Warrior, arrived in Halifax on March 31, 1946.’”
Several months later, with a navy pension in hand, he headed for the Yukon and more adventure.
Silverfox came back to the Yukon two to three months ago after being away for two years, or more.
It was great to see him.
He only stayed a short time. Silverfox was a well-loved person in many places, but I think especially in the Yukon.
He was 82 years old.
He lived the kind of life he wanted.
I believe John Howard, the Silver Fox, is currently driving his favourite bike in the sky.
Note: Much of the above information is from Patty O’Brien’s article in the Colourful Five Per Cent Illustrated, No. 3, printed in 1998.
Silverfox was very proud to be a Colourful Five Per Center, and we will miss him and his friendship.
Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook — Can You Identify? c/o the
Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or e-mail through the News website, www.yukon-news.com.