Obituary Details

Howard E. Lechler

February 24, 1925 - June 3, 2018

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Notes

HOWARD EARL LECHLER, age 93, a well-known long time Clayton
and Gouverneur, New York resident, a highly successful
businessman, an avid sailor, hunter and fisherman, and a generous
benefactor for numerous Upstate New York causes, passed away on
June 3, 2018, at home in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He was the husband of Mary Lou (Rouse) Lechler. Howard and
Mary Lou spent 43 years of a loving marriage together.
Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 24, 1925, to
Joseph A. and Bessie L. Lechler. He graduated from Clarkson
University in May 1948 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree, then
earning an Master of Science Engineering degree from Clarkson in
1953 and receiving an Honorary degree from Clarkson in 1978.
Howard sat on the Board of Clarkson University and was a professor
there as well. Howard and Mary Lou expanded his deep relationship
with Clarkson University by establishing the Howard E. '48 and Mary
Lou Lechler Endowed Scholarship at Clarkson, followed by Howard
and Mary Lou endowing the Clarkson University Construction
Engineering Management Program.
Howard began his career as a Professor of Civil Engineering at
Clarkson in 1948. John Rouse, Mary Lou's father, interviewed several
candidates and saw Howards’ management potential to start up the
highly successful and now very large, multi-location, steel fabrication
enterprise known today as Cives Steel Company with headquarters in
Alpharetta, Georgia. Howard was also on the Board of American
Institute of Steel Construction.
Howard loved sailing, and owned several beautiful sailboats,
well-known and remembered around Clayton, sailing the St. Lawrence
River, the Bahamas, and Virgin Islands. These Yachts were
appropriately named the "Civais", (which is the phonetic expression
of his business enterprise name "Cives"), developing over the years
through increasingly nice sailboats, the last being named the "Civais
IV".
Howard was an avid game hunter, and a member of St.
Lawrence County hunting club, Co-founder of the Dry Timber Lake,
Inc. and Mad River Lodge. He also loved to fish, particularly for
salmon in British Columbia, Canada.
He was very generous to many important causes, in addition
to Clarkson. He served as a Founder, a Director of, and contributor to
The Thousand Islands Foundation, Inc., and he and Mary Lou were
significant contributors to the Clayton Volunteer Fire Department, the
Gouverneur Foundation and The Northern New York Community
Foundation.
Howard is survived by his wife Mary Lou, his daughter, Dianne J.
Diaz of Ithaca, New York; his daughter, Stacia O. Lechler of Raleigh,
North Carolina; his grandson ,David M. Diaz of Cooperstown, New
York; and his granddaughter, Elizabeth M. Diaz of Ithaca, New York;
his grandson, W. Ata Twining of Raleigh, North Carolina and
granddaughter, Sophia Lechler-Austin of Raleigh, North Carolina. He
is also survived by his stepsons; W. John Twining and wife Nazan
Twining of Raleigh, North Carolina, and W. Ashley Twining of
Alpharetta, Georgia and is preceded in death by his sister, Florence L.
Lechler, late of Raleigh, North Carolina , and his granddaughter Aimee
E. Diaz, late of Liverpool, New York.
There will be a celebration of life to be held at his home in
Clayton, New York on July 28th, 2018 at 4:00PM . Howard's ashes will
be interred in the John Rouse Family Plot at the Old Tully Cemetery in
Tully, New York, and equally spread upon the waters of the St,
Lawrence River that Howard so loved.
In lieu of flowers, Celebration of Life donations may be made to the
Thousand Islands Foundation at http://www.thousandislandsfoundation.org/ways-to-give.html or via mail to The Gouverneur Foundation, In the name of Howard Lechler, 133 E. Barney Street, Gouverneur, NY 13642.
Posted by:
Claire Cox
Posted on:
June 22, 2018
Howard and MaryLou visited us by boat one summer at our home on Chippewa Pt in the 1000 Island the 90’s. Docking their boat took some time. While I stood on the dock watching I could hear them talking to each other in an unusual way. So I asked ML about that afterward. She said that they had a code between them to dock the boat so that they would not end up yelling at each other and saying things that were not very nice! What a good idea! I always remembered that.
Posted by:
Joseph perruccio
Posted on:
June 16, 2018
Howard and Mary Lou touched my entire family in very positive ways for many, many years. I am honored to have known Mr Lechler and have only the fondest memories of him. Thank you, Howard. Joseph Perruccio Jr.
Posted by:
JUNE BRUYNS
Posted on:
June 16, 2018
Lit a candle in memory of Howard E. Lechler
Posted by:
Fred Brabant
Posted on:
June 14, 2018
Mary Lou and family,
I am so glad to have just known Howard.
Fred Brabant
Posted by:
Dennis Honeywell
Posted on:
June 14, 2018
What a great man and long time resident of the Clayton communty. Howard and MaryLou were wonderful friends and confidants for my wife Natalie and I. We traveled together once to the Cayman Islands with them and it is one of the most memorable trips of my life. The philanthropy that they have shown to our Thousand Islands was just outstanding. I well remember the day MaryLou had the huge rock moved to the corner as a birthday present for Howard. It was his favorite rock... Howard always had a hearty laugh and great smile for everyone. I am proud to have known him.
Dennis Honeywell
Sarasota, Florida
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