Cover photo for Gordon Howe's Obituary
Gordon Howe Profile Photo

Gordon Howe

September 10, 2010

He was born in Astoria Oregon to Magnus Bernard Howe and Margaret Mary Genevieve Nusbaum Howe. His parents divorced when he was very young, and his father and Sophie (Tillie) Elliott Howe raised him, his siblings and her sisters 4 children. He graduated from Astoria High School in 1950. One of his very early jobs was working at Home Bakery. He spent his entire life working on the Columbia River, starting as a deckhand at Arrow Tug & Barge prior to being inducted into the Army on Jan. 7, 1953. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 21, 1954 to Army Reserve for 8 years. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. After his service he returned to decking on the tugs and eventually became a captain on the tugs. For the next twenty years he would work on the tugs and study in the evenings to constantly upgrade his level of Coast Guard license to eventually obtain a 1600 ton masters license with unlimited tonnage pilotage qualifying him to pilot ocean going vessels. He would spend the next twenty years piloting ships on the Columbia River. He retired Jan. 1995. He prided himself on being a tough MMP union contract negotiator one day and getting along famously with the towboat company president, Peter Brix, the next day. He served as Vice President and President of the Columbia River Pilots. He also served as a commissioner on the Oregon State Board of Maritime Pilots, appointed by Governor Vic Atiyeh. Gordon married Viella Margarette (Marge) DeBeni on Sept. 21, 1955. They had 5 children. The family enjoyed camping, hunting and motorcycle riding together. He was a founding member and president of the original Sons of the Beaches 4 wheel drive club. They divorced on April 20, 1976. Gordon married Darlene Marie (Ness) McFerran on Jan. 16, 1978. This marriage added 4 more children to the family. Darlene was the love of his life, until her passing Sept. 10, 2010. Gordons large family was his pride and joy, especially as it continued to grow with grandchildren and great grandchildren. He absolutely loved family gatherings, as did his grandson, Brandon. Gordon is survived by children: Randall (Jeri) Howe, Alice Howe (Ron) Chaloux, Gordon (Debby) Howe, Debbie McFerran (Steve) Woodard, Julie McFerran, Mike McFerran, and Mark McFerran. Grandchildren: Kristen Howe, Randall (Kayla) Howe, Christy Chaloux (Tony) Coulombe, Amanda Chaloux (Jason) Milks, Amy Chaloux, Naunie Howe OBrien, Katie Howe (Mike) Casey, Scott Howe, Derek Woodard, Dustin (Irene) Woodard, Jennifer McFerran Everson, Jesse (Victoria) McFerran, Willie Robertson, Mark (Lindsey) McFerran Great grandchildren: Madison Howe, Natalie McCargish, Olivia McCargish, Patricia Howe, Gabe Albright, Ezra Albright, Hayden Bottleson Albright, Elias Simmons Albright, Rosie Coulombe, Tyler OBrien, Kaitlyn OBrien, Delilah Casey, Mia Casey, Isaiah McFerran, and Zenna McFerran. His sister: Josephine E. (Betty Jo) Heiner; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Brother-in-law: Darryl Ness. Lifelong friend: Bill Davis. He had/has a long lost younger brother Joseph Nusbaum Kreier. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings: Bernard D. Howe, Charles L. Howe, and Mildred P. Howe; his children: Roy Howe and Ronald F. Howe; his grandchildren: Brandon L. Howe, Chelsea Howe, and Marc Weiber; his great-great grandchild: Audri Viella-Rose Hendrickson. A celebration of life is planned for May 11 th , 2pm on the 39 th Street Pier behind the Rogue, near where there used to be a sandy beach that Gordon often fondly referred to as his old stomping grounds, where he learned to swim. Hughes Ransom Mortuary is in charge of his cremation and has an online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the NRA, Oregon State University sports, or Doernbecher Childrens Hospital.

Funeral Home:
Hughes-Ransom Mortuary Astoria
576 12th St
Astoria, OR 97103
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gordon Howe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Starts at 2:00pm (Pacific time)

A celebration of life is planned for May 11 th

39th & Pier behind Rogue, Astoria, OR 97103

Plant Tree

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree