Gale, Howard

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GALE, Howard Preston

Howard Preston Gale died Nov. 28, 2020 after a courageous eight-year fight against the ravages of Lewy Bodies dementia. Despite the mental and physical challenges he faced, Howard never lost his sense of humor, his grace, his personal charm or his deep affection for his wife, Elisabeth, his son Spencer, his grandson, Colby, the other members of his family, and his wealth of friends.

Howard's charmed life took him from his birthplace in the Bronx, New York, on Feb. 6, 1952, to Jericho, on Long Island, then on to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he graduated high school in 1970.

He attended college at Ohio State University in Columbus, adopting an unrivaled affinity for the Ohio State Buckeyes. For the past 20 years, his license plate, "Dot the i", referenced a sacred ritual within Buckeye nation and a gentle poke at SEC football fans.

From his childhood through his final days, Howard accumulated close and enduring friendships, some dating to elementary school, high school, college and his 45-year career in sales and marketing.

Inevitably, his sunny disposition, genuine charm, and optimistic view of life made him easy company. His smile preceded him into any room. Problems were something to deal with, solve or put aside in pursuit of a good meal, a ball game, or pleasant conversation.

Howard began his sales and marketing career in the clothing business as a manufacturer's rep in New York. He moved to Atlanta for White Stag in 1975 and over the years represented a variety of clothing brands.

For the past 20 years, he and his wife, Elisabeth, ran Encore Marketing, which conducts fundraising programs for middle and high schools throughout the southeast.

The subtext of Howard's life usually revolved around baseball, and college or pro football. But his deep and genuine happiness stemmed from his wonderful marriage to Elisabeth Jonas, whom he met and wooed in 2000, and married on April 10, 2001.

From the time they met, Howard and Elisabeth were inseparable – working together, traveling, sharing long weekends on their boat at Lake Lanier, or attending ballgames – Buckeyes, Falcons, Braves and assorted other teams, enlivened now and again by a concert – particularly Paul McCartney, whenever he came to town.

A lifelong Yankees fan, Howard collected memorabilia. Among the photographs, baseball cards, autographed baseballs, game programs and ticket stubs, for many years he owned and displayed the actual uniform worn by Roger Maris when he hit his historic 61st home run in 1961.

He played in various baseball and softball leagues from his high school days well into his 50s, culminating in his participation in the 2013 New York Yankees Fantasy Camp, where he proudly wore his beloved pinstripes with the number "12," a nod to his favorite NFL quarterback, the Jets' Joe Namath.

He will be forever remembered for his warmth, his kindness, his gentle sense of humor and his elegant but casual style of dress that somehow was exactly right for every occasion.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mildred Gale. He is survived by his wife, Elisabeth, his son Spencer, his grandson Colby, of Atlanta; his father Louis Gale of Pompano Beach, FL; his brother and sister-in-law Arnold and Stephanie Gale of Aspen, CO; his sister-in-law and their husbands Janet and Ira Mann and their children Jonah, Kayla and Jessica; Rebecca and Craig Rubin and their daughter Pamelyn; his brother-in-law and his wife Jon and Sally Jonas; and cousins Peter and Joyce Mandelkern, and Nancy and John Wolfe.

A complete list of Howard's friends would be endless but he will be missed most by his longest-standing buddies who regarded him like a brother: Mark London of Washington DC; Rob and Jamie Baskin of Atlanta; Bill and Brenda Cibulas of Atlanta; and John and Anne Meyer of Atlanta.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support Lewy Body Dementia research at Emory University's Center for Brain Health & Neurosciences, 1762 Clifton Rd. NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322. Please reference LBD research "in memory of Howard Gale."

In deference to the Covid-19 pandemic, an online memorial service was held for family and close friends. Arrangements by Dressler's 770-451-4999.