With heavy hearts we said goodbye to Rick Howie after a seventeen-year journey with rectal cancer. He is survived by his loving wife, Carol; daughter, Christina; son-in-law, Michael Head; precious grandson, Hudson; sister, Joanne Holmes; as well as extended family and friends. For those that knew Rick, he was an individual who was passionate about the outdoors and educating others about the wonders and beauty of the natural world.

After graduating from UBC in 1970 he began his career working for Parks Canada in Prince Edward Island National Park as the Chief Park Naturalist. His work with Parks Canada took him to Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, regional office in Cornwall, Ontario, and Yoho National Park. Later he moved to Kamloops to begin the next phase of his career as the Regional Naturalist for BC Parks. He ended his career working for the Ministry of Environment. However, Rick never did retire. After leaving the Ministry of Environment, he worked as an environmental consultant until his death

Perhaps Rick was best known for his keen interest in bird watching. Shortly after moving to Kamloops, he discovered the rare flammulated owl to be residing in the Kamloops area, and he encouraged the university to have students do further research on the owl. He organized the annual Kamloops Christmas Bird Count for over 40 years; he published the first Kamloops bird checklist; and he started the first BC interior swan and eagle count. He provided expert information regarding birds and wildlife for the media who regularly consulted him. Rick gave numerous talks to naturalist clubs around BC, and he led bird watching trips for the Kamloops Naturalist Club. In recognition of his numerous ornithological accomplishments, Rick received the Steve Cannings Award in 2018 from the BC Field Ornithologists.

Rick’s passion for education did not just extend to bird watching. He ran a wine tasting course for several years, he judged photography competitions and exhibits; he gave wildlife presentations and talks in schools; and he posted his photos on Facebook along with commentary and information. Rick was always keen to share his knowledge and expertise with others.

Rick was a Renaissance man with endless curiosity about many subjects and a lifelong learner. His family and friends were always astounded by the numerous and new interests that Rick was always pursuing – cycling, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, insect collecting, sand collecting, stamp collecting, weightlifting, cross country skiing, wine making, cooking, hiking, photography, and home renovating. His last pursuit was recording and photographing the train engines that passed through Kamloops.

Family was an important part of Rick’s life. When Rick married Carol, he gained a large, extended family. At first, he was shy around his new family, but with time he learned to be as loud and boisterous as the rest of them. He was always grateful for being embraced by Carol’s family.

He was very proud of the accomplishments and musical ability of his daughter, Christina. When his grandson, Hudson, was born, Rick was excited for the opportunity to pass on his love of the outdoors to a younger generation.

A special thank you to Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice for their kind compassionate care during Rick’s final days. We encourage donations in Rick’s name to this wonderful place.

A Celebration of Life will be held later in the year when the birds return to Kamloops.