Rodney Howorth passed away early this month after a long illness. Rod, known to many of us by the lone moniker, Rod (which never sparked confusion, surprisingly; not unlike Madonna or Prince), served as an example to emulate in terms of volunteering and contributing to the local Dana Point community. By his untiring actions, month in and month out, Rod inspired me personally to strive to live up to his level of contribution, but in this way Rod was impossible.
That was, no doubt, the only way in which Rod was impossible, given that he was so consistently enjoyable as a person.
A kind, humorous, and reliable collaborator, Rod was always committed to accomplishing the task at hand, no matter what. And anyone who failed to look beyond his quick, quiet smile, ran the risk of missing out on the depth of his intelligence and perceptiveness.
His death is a notable loss to Dana Point in general, and a sad note that will ring forever within those of us who were lucky enough to know him.
Fair well, Rod.
What follows here is an article from the Dana Point Historical Society by Mary Crowl, reprinted with permission.
In Memoriam: Rodney Howorth, 1940-2018
How sad to report that we have lost one of the best of our Historical Society’s pillars — our longtime friend and colleague, Rodney Howorth. Rod passed away on August 1 after a long illness.
Rod was a member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society for the past 14 years. He served as Secretary, as Publicity and Public Relations Chair, as Committee Chair for the Baby Beach Tile Wall Project and most recently as Chair of our Merchandise Sales. Rod served on every Home Tour Committee after he joined the Board and handled all the logistics that contributed to the smooth operations of these events. He wrote articles for our newsletter, assisted with most every event that featured our Outreach Booth, volunteered as a docent at our museum and, in general, was always helpful with a gracious good spirit and ready smile. An article written about Rod a few years ago in the Historical Society Newsletter was titled, “If You Need Something Done, Ask a Busy Man.” For Rod Howorth, that says it all.
Rod was also a pillar of our community with his work as President of the Lantern Village Association, in which capacity he worked for the improvement of the historic core area of Dana Point. He contributed also as a board member of the Dana Point Civic Association, the group that brings us the monthly “Coffee Chat” meetings. Rod was a member of the committee that brought back the Festival of Whales Parade in 2002 and participated in city government as Chairman of the Dana Point Traffic Improvement Subcommittee. There were many other miscellaneous efforts on his part to participate in and improve life in Dana Point. All this led to his being chosen as Citizen of the Year by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce for 2008.
Rodney Howorth was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and moved to Akron, Ohio, with his family as a young boy and then to California when he was 16. He attended Orange High School, during which time he drove down many times with his friends to surf at Killer Dana and Doheny State Beach. He graduated from California State University, Fullerton, and, subsequently, had a 35-year career with Rockwell International where he was an Executive Advisor and Contract Negotiator. During those years he lived in several places around the Los Angeles area as his work demanded, many of those years on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. He bought his home in the Lantern Village area of Dana Point and moved here in 1980, glad to be near the beach in this welcoming small town. Rod’s sister, Susan, reports that he was an entrepreneur from a young age, selling cards and magazines and earning money for the special cars that he loved. We all admired the more exotic acquisitions of his later years. Rod loved his home here and had happy memories of the special places that existed in those early days.
Those of us who knew Rod and worked with him will always remember his generosity, his great sense of humor, willingness to help and his caring about those around him. So, we must bid a long, fond farewell to this good citizen and good friend.
— Mary Crowl