Wayne R. Howe: 1920 – 2008 – May 21, 2009

Wayne R. Howe: 1920 – 2008

Crater Lake Institute

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
May 21, 2009


On November 7, 2008, Wayne R. Howe, former Crater Lake National Park ranger, died at the age of 88.


Wayne Howe was born in Ontario, Oregon on October 18, 1920. His family moved to Coos Bay, Oregon in 1927, then Eugene, Oregon, and lastly, Roseburg, Oregon. He graduated from Roseburg High School in 1938 and then received a Fish and Game Management degree at Oregon State College (now Oregon State University). As a First Lieutenant in the Army, during WWII, he served briefly in Germany and later in the Korean War, from 1950-1951.


Wayne had a 30-year career in the National Park Service, starting in 1946 at Crater Lake, and ending in 1976, at the Northwest Regional Office in Seattle, Washington, where he was an associate director. He held Park Ranger positions in six western national parks, including Chief Ranger in Yellowstone.


He married Jean Cloake of Roseburg in 1943 and they were married for 57 years until Jean’s death in 2000.


Wayne R. Howe Oral History Interview excerpt:

Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?

I was born in Ontario, Oregon, which is over in the eastern part of the state. My father was in the laundry business over there. I went through the first grade in Ontario and then my folks decided to move over to this side of the mountains. I’ve always been very thankful that they did, because I would have hated to grow up in Ontario. I just don’t like that part of the country that well although we go back there and I have an Aunt that still lives in Ontario. We came over here to this part of the country in 1927, and first went to what was then call Marshfield, and which is now Coos Bay. Then to Eugene, and then to Roseburg in 1928, and finally settled in Roseburg for good in 1929. I went to grade school and high school. I graduated from high school at Roseburg high school in 1938. We just celebrated our 50th Anniversary about two weeks ago. I then stayed out of school for a year to work to make a little money. Then went on to Oregon State College [now Oregon State University], and got my Bachelor of Science Degree in 1943 in Fish and Game Management. I was in the military at the time that I graduated and we were the only class in history at Oregon State that graduated in uniform. Then I spent three years and several months in the military service. Incidentally, I was married about three days before I graduated from college, down in Roseburg. Jean is a Roseburg girl.  She’s with me here today and she will undoubtedly have something to say about this. She had a lot to do with Crater Lake days.

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