WISCH, Howard

WISCH, Professor Howard Irwin, 73, of Punta Gorda, FL, passed away July 30, 2013.

He was born March 30, 1940 in Brooklyn, NY to Louis and Dorothy Wisch.

Howard lived fully, well, and with honor. He positively impacted the lives of countless people everywhere he lived, from New York, to Ohio, to Florida.

To many, he was a caring counselor and advisor. He had a special ability to calm and comfort the injured and upset, whether human, domestic pets, or wildlife.

He had a strong and clear sense of social justice, which guided his life. He hated to see suffering of any kind, and this was reflected in his particular interest in Bioethics, Environmental Ethics, and the Ethics of Aging. He was the best kind of scholar, for beyond his theory and research – which were exemplary – he consistently used his skills and knowledge in practical ways to make the world around him a better place.

He lived his belief that your life is defined not by what you say, but by what you do. He served wherever the need was greatest, from inner city New York to rural Appalachia.

Howard’s skills and interests were eclectic. He possessed an extensive knowledge of fine art and classical music, had an intimate sense of form and design, and loved race cars and motorcycles.

He had a razor intellect and formidable analytical skills, but he could also chop wood and clear brush with tremendous intensity. He was a gymnast, a kayaker, and an expert cyclist. He was a serious scholar who studied with some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century as a student at NYU, and he also had a nonstop and occasionally irreverent sense of humor.

He worked as a carpenter, social worker, paralegal, professor, and psychiatric ward attendant. He loved Gandhi and Popeye, Mozart and Paul Simon, Charles Dickens and Gary Larson.

Howard was a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Edison State College. He was Professor Emeritus at Ohio University where he taught Philosophy and Ethics from 1967-2000.

He was a Board Member of the Ohio Humanities Council, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Belmont County Commission on Aging in St. Clairsville, Ohio, and a Board Member of the Ohio Network of Educational Consultants in the Field of Aging. Howard helped establish the first Head Start program in the Wheeling, West Virginia area, and was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for his original research and recording of oral histories of Holocaust survivors.

He was a sophisticated man who studied facts, spent his career searching for truth, and never lost his sense of wonder. The world is better for having him, less for his loss, and he will be missed by his family and friends as deeply as he was loved by them.

He was father to his son, Joshua Wisch, his daughter, Timna Haines, and grandchildren Dylan Haines and Ariel Haines. He had the good fortune of twice marrying the love of his life: first to his wife, Stephanie, who passed away in 1990, and later to his wife, Janita, who survives him.

The family held services privately. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County may be made in Howard’s memory.

Please visit kays-ponger. com to leave the family condolences and to sign the online guestbook. Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.