Fr. J. Norbert Howe

10/11/1926 - 09/11/2023


Obituary For Fr. J. Norbert Howe

Fr. J. Norbert Howe, age 96 of Lima, passed away Monday, September 11, 2023, at 12:40 a.m., at The Greens of Lima.

Fr. Howe was born October 11, 1926. in Henry County, to James and Mary (Spangler) Howe who preceded him in death.

Survivors include his sister, Carolyn Schnitkey and brother, John (Linda) Howe both of Napoleon, many nieces and nephews, and devoted friend of the family, Rosalyn Eleanor Liston, Ph.D., of Lima.

He is preceded in death by his siblings: Roseanne Bratton, Ruth Howe, Mary Joan Helmheckel, Paul Barry Howe and William Joseph Howe.

Fr. Howe was a 1944 graduate of Napoleon High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, from 1944-1946. He entered the seminary in 1947 completing his seminary education at Sacred Heart Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN, Saint Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, IN and Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Toledo at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, on May 26, 1956.

In 1956, he was exemplified into the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus. His first assignment was Norwalk St. Mary's as associate pastor, from 1956 until 1967, then associate pastor at St. John's, Lima in 1967. He was named pastor of St. John's in 1969. In 1977 until 1983 he was pastor of St. Mary's, Norwalk and St. Alphonsus, Peru. From 1983 until 1985, he was pastor in St. Mary's, Tiffin and 1985 until 2001, pastor of St. Rose of Lima, in Lima, OH. He retired and continued his priestly ministry at St. Rita's Hospital and assisted parishes in the Dioceses of Toledo and Cincinnati.

In Lima, he started the Church People for Change and Reconciliation and also started the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. He was a member of the Literacy Council, Lima Rehab Project, Housing for the Elderly and helped to establish Lima Towers and Pilgrim Place. He began the first Neighborhood Association in Lima-Kibby Corners and North End Neighborhood Association, and established the Samaritan House of Lima.

The Reception of his Body will be Thursday, September 14, 2023 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, at 3:00 p.m. His visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m., ending at 7:00 p.m. in the church where Vespers will begin at 7:00 p.m. There will also be visitation on Friday, September 15, in the church from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. His Funeral Mass will begin on Friday at 11:00 a.m., with Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas as Principal Celebrant, and Fr. Nicholas Weibl as Homilist. Burial will be at 3:30 p.m., Friday in St. Augustine Cemetery, Napoleon, OH, with military rites by the U.S. Navy Honor Guard and Napoleon American Legion Post 300.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Rose Parish or to Samaritan House.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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  • 09/15/2023

    Fr Howe taught me in the 4th grade in the space behind the sanctuary when the "new big school" was being built - a Fr Reynolds project . The original St Mary's 2 room school was too crowded where we were before that. I remember that as a great year Diane Hill Ratcliff

  • 09/14/2023

    to our family. Father Norb married Doug and I 50 years ago,he baptised Jade and Noah and buried our sweet angle Jade Adam, his guidens and sense of hummer,comforting smile will be missed by all of us.with much LOVE. Doug and Kim

  • 09/13/2023

    I prepared Father Howe's annual income tax returns from 1977 through 2022. Each year I would have lunch with him to review his returns with him, and also to discuss many, many other subjects of interest to us, as including spirituality and philosophy of life. I have wonderful memories of these conversations and his advice and insights. Tom McLaughlin

  • 09/13/2023

    I remember Father Howe fondly from his days at Norwalk St. Mary's. What a good and holy priest. John E. Schumm

  • 09/12/2023

    Father Howe was the only pastor my kids knew all through their years at St. Rose. I was privileged to work under his leadership as a teacher there. He was an awesome priest who ignited my faith and taught me so much. Times spent planning and attending our parish retreats are some of my dearest memories. I still quote him to this day. He was one of a kind; a blessing to all whose lives he touched. Theresa Kearney

  • 09/12/2023

    What a kind and gentle man. May he rest in peace!

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