John Ruskin Howe, Jr, Class of 1957

Posted Jan 24, 2023

Howe John R Obit Pic

John Ruskin Howe, Jr., ’57 died November 5, 2022. John was born in Dayton, Ohio to the late Elizabeth Brewbaker Howe ’24 and John Ruskin Howe, Sr. ’21 the 13th president of Otterbein University 1939 to 1945.

John graduated from Otterbein University where he met his wife Judith Jenkins Howe ’58. While attending Otterbein, John played tennis, was in the “O’ Club, student government/senate, and Pi Kappa Phi (Country Club) fraternity. John went on to get is masters and doctoral from Yale University. He also received an honorary degree of LHD-Doctor of Humane Letters from Otterbein in 1974.

John taught at Princeton University and then at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. He held several key positions during a long and impactful tenure in Minnesota. He was the Dean of the History Department, Head Librarian, and President of the University Retirees Association. John was a co-author on numerous textbooks and held positions on the committee that develops Advanced Placement testing for years.

John competed in tennis and squash, followed football and baseball, and enjoyed both domestic and international travel. He also had a wide interest in the arts and was a long-standing patron of the Guthrie Theater, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

John is survived by his wife Judith Jenkins Howe ’58; his daughter, Susan Hughes; his son and daughter-In-law, David and Allison Howe; a brother, Charles Howe; and five grandchildren, Maria, Marcus, and Megan Hughes; and Evan and Andrew Howe. Other Otterbein alumni included two sisters-in-law, Sandra Salisbury Jenkins ’64 and Jill Jenkins Grayem ’66.
Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his, Aunt Virginia Brewbaker Copeland ’30, Uncle Benjamin Copeland ’32, sister-in-law Janet Jenkins Halberg ’54 and brother-in-law Thomas Jenkins ’62.