Howard McNair passed away peacefully on October 13, 2019, at his home in Lake Jackson, at the age of 95. A member of the Greatest Generation, Howard leaves a world forever changed by his long, full life in service to God, his family, and his country.
Howard was born February 8, 1924, in Wheelock, Texas, to Marion Melton McNair and Bertie Gladys Dixon McNair. He was valedictorian of the Hearne High School class of 1941.
Howard entered Texas A&M in 1941 where he was a member of The Fighting Texas Aggie Band. Like so many of his contemporaries, World War II interrupted his college education. Howard joined the United States Army, where he was on active duty from 1943-1945, serving in the Field Artillery and Infantry. He was transferred with the 25th Infantry Division to Schofield Barracks in the Territory of Hawaii. It was there that Howard met his future wife, Dorothy Fernandez of Brooklyn, NY who served in the United States Naval Reserve (WAVES). Howard and Dorothy were married in the Post Chapel at Schofield Barracks on January 7, 1947. They returned to College Station where Howard completed Bachelor of Science degrees in chemical engineering and industrial engineering, as well as all the coursework toward a master’s degree in chemical engineering.
In 1953, Howard accepted a job with Dow in Freeport, working in Light Hydrocarbons. During his 31-year career, Howard managed in and consulted with hydrocarbon plants all over the Dow world. These assignments took him to the Netherlands, Canada, South America, Australia, Spain, Germany, and Japan. In Freeport, he was project manager for Light Hydrocarbons #6 and for Dow’s Crude Oil Processing Plant. Howard was technical manager of Dow’s Ethylene Center and afterwards major manager of Chlor-Alkali Production for Texas Operations.
Howard taught a Sunday morning adult Bible class for 30 years at the Lake Jackson Church of Christ where he was a member since 1953. He also enjoyed reading, listening to classical music, photography, working on family genealogy and held a ham radio operator’s license for 50 years. He was a true renaissance man. Howard and Dorothy were passionate about education, endowing science scholarships at Brazosport College and Texas A&M University.
Howard was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Dorothy Fernandez McNair (1918-2004); his brother, Marion Dixon McNair (1922-2005); and his son-in-law, Jaime Alvarez-Calderon (1949-2015).
Howard is survived by his daughters, Marie McNair Alvarez-Calderon of Lake Jackson and Eileen McNair Boaz of Huntsville, Texas, and their families.
A memorial service celebrating Howard’s life will be Sunday, November 10, 2019 at the Lake Jackson Church of Christ at 11:45 AM. All are invited to greet the family at a lunch reception at the church following the service.
The family expresses their deep appreciation to Susana Trevino for the wonderful care and attention Howard received for the past 16 years. They credit his long life to his quiet tenacity and to the care of his Lake Jackson physicians, Dr. Rajesh Dalal, Dr. Nabil Baradhi and Dr. Scott Harris. The family would also like to thank Brazosport Home Delivered Meals for 15 years of meals and to IPH Home Health Care & Hospice.