Gary “Starch” Lynn Howd

November 7, 1965 - September 24, 2021

On September 24, 2021, following a courageous battle with melanoma, Gary Lynn Howd went to be with the Lord. Known affectionately as “Starch” by his friends and family, Gary was born on November 7, 1965, in La Harpe, Illinois. As a young boy, Starch enjoyed racing dirt bikes and being downright ornery. He was always a fun loving jokester. Anyone who knew Starch knows that, if he believed in you or your cause, he would give you the shirt off his back while encouraging others to join him. Starch very much enjoyed his upbringing in La Harpe. He was selected by his peers to be the “Most Responsible” male of his graduating class of 1983. He was co-captain of the La Harpe Eagles’ football team his senior year. He was elected and served as President of the La Harpe High School class of 1983. Following his high school graduation, Starch attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. In 1986, when his parents, Jerry and Janice Howd moved to Pine Island, Florida, Starch elected to pull up roots and join them. He subsequently moved to Cape Coral, Florida. Starch was a jack of all trades. Like his father, Jerry, he could build, make, or create just about anything. He was also a great communicator who dealt well with the public. In Cape Coral, Starch thrived as a successful realtor, construction worker, home inspector, and subsequently, a multi-project real estate superintendent overseeing large construction jobs. Starch loved his country, and he was a true patriot. He believed in America and its values. He had a strong faith in God and openly accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

He is survived by his sister, Cindy (Howd) Shoemaker, his brother, Randy Howd of Cape Coral, FL and his nephew, Nathan Shoemaker of Charleston, SC. In addition, he is survived by many close and loving friends including John French of Ft. Myers, Steve Teuber of Sarasota, Brenda Appleby of Cape Coral, cousin Jay Howd of Carbondale, Harry Louden of LaHarpe, Brian King of Dallas City, Brad Burt of Dallas City, and cousin Terry Reed (“T.R.”) of Ft. Myers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jerry and Janice Howd, his brother, Tim Howd, and his dear friend, Carl Humphrey.

Memorial Services will be held on Starch’s birthday on Sunday, November 7 at 2:00 pm CST (3:00 pm ET) at New Hope Christian Church, 17181 Tarpon Way, North Fort Myers, Florida 33917. Pastor Tracy Hansen will be officiating. It will be a red, white and blue theme in honor of the country Starch so dearly loved, so please dress accordingly. The service will be filled with patriotism, pride, and probably some humor.

Memorial contributions in Memory of Starch may be made to the American Cancer Society. Friends are invited to send condolences via the on-line guest book which can be found at

The services will be live streamed via Zoom. You may be an active participant in the services by connecting to the Zoom stream located at the following URL:

Memorial contributions in Memory of Starch may be made to the American Cancer Society,  4575 Via Royale, # 110, Fort Myers, FL 33919.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Dr. Susan Hook Nov 3, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Gary was one of my favorite people! He helped us get Samaritan Health and Wellness Center ready for business before we opened seven years ago this week! He was OUR CONTRACTOR who God sent to graciously get the office ready for patients in 2014. Each time we needed a renovation of space, Gary gladly jumped in to get things moving. I am forever grateful for Gary and his wonderful, generous, and kind spirit. I miss him, but I know I will see him again in Heaven!

    Dr. Sue Hook (“Doc” to Gary)

    p.s. photo is Samaritan lobby renovation ala Gary!

  2. Cathy Janssen Nov 4, 2021 at 11:11 am

    I didn’t know Starch personally but I know about him through his sister, Cindy. I was sorry he had to go through everything he did knowing he was a great person with such heart. May you rest in peace Starch.

  3. Cindy and Tracey Anders Nov 6, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Starch will be missed greatly! So sad he had to go so soon, but we know he’s in a better place. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. julie Golinski Nov 6, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    I grew up with Starch who he was a wise and gentle soul. I lost track of him through the years and was saddened to hear of his passing. In school, he always made me laugh. He had a real zest for life. One of my favorite memories is from band. We played drums and would sometimes intentionally mess the song up with a very bad and loud drumbeat. Of course we would get yelled at which put us in stitches. After things settled down, we would start the process all over again. Rest in Peace old friend. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  5. Bryan King Nov 7, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Starch was a great friend it breaks my heart that Starch has left us so soon. When Starch told me about a year ago he was in for the fight of his life. Every phone conversation we would have he always told me I just have to be strong and keep fighting and that was so Starch he was no quitter. Back in high school we had some epic adventures. when ever I reminisce about those days Starch’s name always comes up. Starch was loved and liked by many classmates. He will forever be in my heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to Starch’s family and friends rest in peace brother.

  6. Jay Howd Nov 7, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Starch was my first cousin, best friend, and a true “brother from another mother.” Delivered only two months apart by the caring hands of Dr. BI Mueller in La Harpe, IL, we grew up together as babies through adulthood. We shared K-12 together at Durham, La Harpe, Fountain Green, Terre Haute, and then back to La Harpe through high school. None of Starch’s schoolmates knew his family nickname to be “Starch” until it caught on sometime in middle school. However, he was “Starch” to me (and his parents and siblings) long before then.

    I will truly miss Starch’s friendship and comradery, honed over 55 years together. No one knew him better. No one will miss him more. I will miss his practical jokes, his prank phone calls and messages, his conspiracy theories about the “communists” trying to take over our country, and his utter disdain for “lazy” people and the liberal media. I will miss his “Lock Hillary Up” displays placed in his front yard during a contested presidential election. I will miss our many trips and visits we enjoyed together in La Harpe, Cape Coral, and Southern Illinois. I will miss all the laughs and fun we shared for so many years.. There will never, ever be another Starch! Rest in peace, brother!

    Love, Jay

  7. Beth Coles Nov 7, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Starch was Randy’s Brother.
    Thats how I came to know him!
    You couldn’t ask for a better friend, He was always there for everyone!! He loved life, loved his neighborhood friends. It was wonderful to see people from down the street come and hang out with him. His immediate neighbor rented a corvet. I remember Starches face when he got to drive it. Thats The Starch I remember. Smiling and happy!! Just looking good behind the wheel of that gorgeous car!!
    Brenda was the last one to see him. She cleaned his house and brought him food so he didn’t have to cook!! Brenda Appleby really is an angle!! Starch will be missed by alot of people!! God speed!! God bless!! Your in a pain free place now!! I hope that this brings your family back together!!

  8. Noelle Mar 14, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Starch’s passing. I have fond memories of the time we spent together and with your family. We ran into each other at a lumber place about 13 years ago and had a great conversation filled with memories and laughter. He was an awesome man! God bless and sorry for your loss.

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