Richard George Albert (Dick) Howman 1946 – 2003
From the Parish News – April 2003
It was indeed a great shock to the villagers of Denton, Bedingham and Alburgh to hear of the very sudden death of Dick Howman on the 13th February, at Upland Farm, Denton, aged 57 years. The very full Church of St Andrew's, Bedingham showed the very high regard in which he was held. The Memorial Service was conducted by the Revd Colan Mahoney, and assisted by Revd Ian Bentley. Colan (the Rector of the Hempnall Group of Parishes) told the congregation of Richard's loyal service to St Andrew's Church where he and Janet served on the PCC, and Richard was Building Maintenance Officer. He had worked on many projects in the Church, among which were the renovation of the Box Pews, the floor of the Organ and the Round Tower. He also made the wooden Cross which was on the Altar during the service. There was a particularly moving moment in the service when his daughter Kerry read a poem.
Richard was born in Costessey, Norwich, where his Grandfather kept the Round Well Public House. His Father was later to become Landlord of the 'Pheasant', Bracondale. On leaving school he served an apprenticeship with John Young of Norwich as carpenter, and worked with this firm until his marriage to Janet in 1970 when they moved to 56 The Street, Alburgh. Richard and Janet met at a YFC dance, being members of the Reepham and Flixton clubs respectively. While in Alburgh he joined R G Carter & Sons at Harleston, working in their joinery shop. They moved to Bedingham Green in 1976, with their daughters Kerry and Trudi, into a cottage near Willow Farm. It was from here that Richard really managed to pursue his love of country sports, when he became part-time Gamekeeper for Martin Holl in Woodton. He loved shooting and particularly training gun dogs; he would also be remembered visiting around the local farms to procure 'broody' hens to rear pheasant chicks.
In 1996 after the death of Janet's mother, May Buckham, the family which now included their son Edward, moved to Uplands Farm, Denton, where they immediately started renovating the old farmhouse. Unfortunately Richard's ill-health began around this time, the stress of the sugar-diabetes which had affected him since he was 14 years old, brought on a heart problem, and he had to give up full-time work. However he was then able to give more time to his family, and he introduced Edward to his love of country sports, taking him out with him. They also went clay pigeon shooting together.
His heart problem finally got the better of him, and he collapsed and died while working alone outside, trimming branches on a tree. He will be remembered particularly for his perfectionism in all he did, especially his joinery work in which he took great pride.