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Howard was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 12, 1940. He was adopted by Adrian and Mamie (Huisken) Hartog who have preceded him in death. He passed from this life to eternal life with his Savior on June 1, 2018, with his loved ones nearby.
Howard was raised in Edgerton, Minn., and graduated from Southwest Christian High School. In 1960 he married Leona Walhof, they later divorced. He had varied careers and small business endeavors but was probably best known as the Vagabond Bookman. In 1990 he married Kathi Armstrong and moved to Lawrence, Kans., and shortly thereafter became an avid Jayhawk fan and remained so the rest of his days. In 1993 they opened the Vagabond Bookman on Massachusetts Street. He still traveled to various book fairs and antique shows (hence the Vagabond name) “but his love was that crowded bookstore which to some would appear cluttered but to Howard was organized chaos.” Howard closed the business in 2013 when his health declined.
Having been a voracious reader all his life, he rarely read his Bible. Being homebound gave him much time to do that. He joined his wife every morning for prayer and reading God’s Word. He was a transformed man. So that when the time came for him to meet his Savior, the lover of his soul, he was ready and at peace. A great comfort to the rest of us.
He is survived by daughter, Tamela and husband, Dustin Ireland; two sons, Roy Hartog, Scott and wife, Cindy Hartog; stepson, Luke and wife, Allison Armstrong; brother, Stanton and wife, Linda Hartog; 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. There will be an interment service in Hillside Cemetery in Edgerton, which is pending.