Howard W. Carrier of Fairfield, Ohio passed away August 12, 2021 surrounded by his family. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Howard W. and Sarah E. Carrier. He served his country in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1972, and then worked as a manager at G.E. Howard was a generous, selfless man with an inventive mind, a caring heart, and a joyful and passionate soul. This was demonstrated by the countless young athletes and their families who flocked to his garage each and every year to learn how to hit and throw softballs and baseballs. These families got so much more from Howard, however, than just instruction. They became better students, coaches and parents, and just plain better people through their time spent with him. Howard worked with young athletes just starting out, up and coming athletes, and top level collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes and coaches. He never asked for money or payment; all that he wanted was for the athletes to occasionally bring a case of water or Gatorade to share, and work hard on their game. He just wanted to pass along the love of the sport.
Howard would use his technical background and inventiveness to create new ways to communicate with his athletes. If there was an athlete that did not understand his instruction, Howard would build a tool or a visual aid to help them understand. “If you can feel it, you can fix it” Howard would say. Or, “it has to be measurable and observable”. The word “No” was not in Howard’s vocabulary. He could also communicate well with athletes with learning disabilities. He cared for his athletes and always found new ways to help them. He not only taught athletes how to hit, but he also taught them valuable life lessons about team, commitment, practice and respecting the game. Often, he would just stop the lesson to sit and talk. Howard cared for and believed in his athletes, demonstrated by how much time he spent with them all.
Howard was so proud of his athletes. If you had an opportunity to stop by his garage, you would see the display of pictures of his athletes, along with his wall of signed home run balls given to him. Howard would attend games, graduations, signing days, parties, and weddings because so many of his friends wanted to share their celebrations with him away from the game. A wonderful sight to behold was when he attended softball games at a tournament. He looked like Santa Claus at Christmas time, with all the children waiting in line, wanting to share a recent success or just ask for help. His garage was home to so many athletes young and old. Parents and coaches spent many hours sitting off to the side while Howard worked his magic with athletes. When you went to hit with Howard, you blocked off a few hours in the day because you were not going for only hitting. Often times he would stop instruction and just talk. He would tell the athletes to go get a drink and relax and then continue with the lesson.
Through his passion and desire to give, he became lifelong friends and family to so many. This included Ken Adams, a friend since the age of six, and Mike Grimmer. Howard was blessed to have so many people in his life. Leading that list is his wonderful wife Idella. Idella understood Howard’s reason and passion for wanting to help athletes. She was always by his side, supportive and always willing to meet and share in the joys of so many softball stories. Howard and Idella are blessed to have a wonderful son Kenny. Kenny is their pride and joy and was Howard’s first success story as an athlete and wonderful man. Kenny and his wife Michele have blessed Howard and Idella with two beautiful grandchildren Austin and Wyatt. Howard’s family is his pride and joy. He leaves behind his sister Beverly Even, niece Karen, and nephews Roger, Edward, Andrew, Tommy and Matthew. He leaves behind several great-nieces and nephews, and sister-in-law Alma Porter. He will be deeply missed by countless friends and family both far and near. Howard was an inspiration to us all. He leaves a wonderful legacy that will be with us forever.
A Celebration of Life gathering for Howard W. Carrier will be held from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturday August 28, 2021 at the Butler County Fairgrounds, 1715 Fairgrove Ave. Hamilton, Ohio 45011