THOMAS, MELVIN HOWARD
February 16, 1936 ~ August 29, 2008
Howard passed away at his home in White Rock, August 29, 2008 after enjoying a reunion with his entire family. He leaves Mary, his wife of 46 years and their 3 children and families: David, Nicole, Cooper and Sophie Thomas of Perth, Australia; Michael, Lisa and Sydney Thomas of Vancouver; Alison, Bill, Riley, Ora and Haydon Meade of Peterborough, ON. Howie was born in Kimberley, BC, and moved to Vancouver where he completed grade 12 at Britannia High School. After graduation from UBC with a Commerce and Law degree, he articled at Ellis, Dryer and McTaggart. He was called to the bar in 1961 then worked with the Department of Justice in Ottawa for about 9 months. Upon his return to Vancouver in 1962 he worked with the late Hugh McGivern, a well known criminal counsel. He then joined Ken Thompson in White Rock, practicing primarily Municipal law for about 25 years. The firm ultimately became Thompson and McConnell, with offices in White Rock and Vancouver. He tried cases in all courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Howie was elected a Bencher of the Law Society of BC and was active in continuing legal education, frequently a presenter for municipal law. In 1989 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In 1991 he was appointed to the Provincial Court Bench, serving as a Judge in the South Fraser Judicial District until his retirement in 2006. He was passionate about his family, sports, fine wines, investing, and good books. He learned to play hockey and baseball in his youth in Kimberley and played both sports continuously to the end of university. He then coached minor hockey and baseball in White Rock for many years. He was a keen tennis player and enjoyed golf and cycling as well. He and Mary had some wonderful cycling holidays in North America and Europe and enjoyed exploring many different parts of the world together. Howard was a caring, steadfast and gentle man. His optimism and enthusiasm for his family especially in the face of adversity this last year, demonstrated an amazing level of strength and grace. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, September 9 at 2:30pm at Victory Memorial Funeral Centre, 14831 – 28th Avenue, Surrey. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the BC Cancer Society or a charity of choice.