Celebrating the life of Howard Estep
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The son of Donald Lee and Katherine Grace (Brown) Estep, he was born in Peoria, Peoria Co., IL on April 9, 1961. Howard was preceded in death by his parents; his paternal grandparents, Pearl Cleverland and Hilda Dorothy (Kreeger) Estep; and his maternal grandparents, Howard Harold and Ruth Marie (Derry) Brown. Howie, as his family lovingly called him, moved from Bartonville, IL to Holly Hill, FL with his parents in 1972. Howie married Debbie Jo Sherer in the backyard of his mother’s home in Holly Hill, FL on July 22, 1980. They latter divorced. To this union was born a son, Howard “Carl” Estep, Jr. of Port Orange, FL, who survives, along with a grandson, Jordan Ray Estep. Howie then married Valerie Lynn Mills in Citrus Co., FL on August 20, 1982. They were divorced in Marion Co., FL on 11/20/1992. To this union was born two sons who survive: Jessup Lee Estep, of TN, along with a grandson; and Joshua Garrett Estep. Howie relocated to the Albany, NY area in the mid 1990s, and then resided in various locations throughout the state until he returned to the Peoria area on July 12, 2014 to begin a new life. Howie was doing just that when he suffered a major heart attack on March 7, 2015. Howie is also survived by 4 brothers: Larry Joe (Pat) Estep of Deer Creek, IL; Donald Lee (Silvia) Estep, Jr. of Lakeside, CA; Ronald L. (Kathy) Zahner of Peoria, IL; and Terry L Zahner of AL, and a sister, Connie (David) Haviland of Pearland, TX. Also surviving are 6 nephews and 7 nieces. Howie was a granduncle to several throughout the U.S., but after returning to the Peoria area, he was very proud to get to know grandnieces, Briana M. Sawatzki and Jacinda M. Estep, and grandnephew, Austin M. Sawatzki. They will miss their “Uncle Howie.” Howie was of Catholic faith. Howie had previously been a Locks of Love donor, and was a Gift of Hope donor at end of his life. Cremation rites have been accorded. Graveside service and burial of ashes will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at his parent’s grave site in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria, IL. A celebration of Howie’s life will follow this service; details to come. Memorials can be made to The American Heart Association.
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