- About Us
Howard LeRoy Thacker died on Saturday 27-January-2018 in the small mid-Missouri town of Eldon. He was born 08-August-1951 at home in a small house east of Eldon. Howard was the third of five children and the eldest of three boys. His parents were Roy Thacker and Rosa Thacker of Eldon.
Howard attended K-12 in the Eldon school district and graduated in the top ten of his class. After high school he attended Lincoln University. During this time he attended day-time classes and worked night-shifts at the Cheeseborough Ponds factory near Jefferson City, MO. He also joined ROTC and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. He graduated with a business baccalaureate degree. This same tenacity and loyalty branched into every role he accepted.
Most knew Howard as a physician. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 1980 from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO. The university is now known as Andrew Taylor Still University. Later in 1983 he completed a fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C., where the world’s most dangerous infectious agents are studied. He completed a strenuous ears, nose and throat residency in July 1985 then opened his own medical practice in August 1985 in Kirksville, MO.Howard served his patients in many ways. Sometimes he saved lives. Sometimes he removed tonsils. Sometimes he reconstructed damaged faces. Each time he acted in the patient’s best interest even if doing so was not the most profitable choice. He frequently provided discount services and was widely sought for his professional expertise and opinion. He retired in December 2000.
Some knew Howard as a public servant. His military service started in 1973 with ROTC. He earned the US Army flight surgeon badge, rose to the rank of Major and later served in the US Army Reserve and Missouri National Guard. His medical knowledge and intelligence training proved valuable. In late 1989, Howard served as the chief medical intelligence officer in Operation Just Cause, during which US forces removed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Later he earned a Class-B law enforcement license and served as a reserve Deputy Sheriff in three Missouri counties.
A fortunate few knew Howard as a family member. He will be most missed in this family capacity. He is survived by his older sisters Carolyn and Evelyn, former wife Sema, sons Christopher and Jonathan, and grandchildren Hiroki and Misato.
As an individual, Howard enjoyed firearms, languages, his cats and horticulture as his health and time permitted. His favorite musician was Jimmy Buffett and his older son would later acquire the same taste. He also loved watching shows such as BBC Top Gear, River Monsters and western movies with his children. Family and friends sometimes referred to him as a human encyclopedia due to his vast knowledge and the fact that during his youth, he actually read an entire encyclopedia set.
Visitation will be at Phillips Funeral Home on Sunday 11-February-2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. . Immediately afterward his cremated remains will be buried at Dooley Cemetery.
In place of flowers, the family request financial donations be split between the following: a) American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org and b) Dooley Cemetery, c/o Phillips Funeral Home 5 South Oak Street, Eldon, MO 65026.