Obituary for Howard Houlden
GRAFTON: Howard “Punky” Houlden, 84, passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday March 2, 2023 after a life well lived.
Punky was never far from home. He was born and raised in Westborough, Massachusetts. He earned his degree from the school of hard knocks; he was a man who learned by doing. In 1961, he and Ruth were married and built their forever home by hand in North Grafton with the help of their family and friends. As a young adult, the Westborough Speedway was his playground on the weekends racing and partaking in the demolition derbies. That came to an end when he started raising a family, yet his love of cars continued throughout his life.
One of his favorite places to be was his garage/shop on the farm. After a hard day’s work on a hot summer day, he would sit in his chair in the doorway of his shop enjoying a cold one looking over the fields. He was a man of few words, a humble, kind, and genuine man who taught us all so much. He was always willing to lend a hand, could fix just about anything, and was always looking for a deal. He had a way with his grandkids and great grandkids that would make you smile. He was the best Dad, Husband, Brother, Grandpa, Pup, and Beba any of us could have asked for.
In his later years, he could be found cruising around on his gator or mower watching the happening on the farm from a distance. He kept his daily ritual of going for coffee, a donut and scratch tickets up until just a few days before he passed. He also looked forward to his Sunday coffee and catching up with his sister, Sandra. On any given day, when the mood struck, he and Ruth would head to the casino to try his luck. More times than not, he would walk out with a smile on his face. Howard is preceded in death by his father, Charles, and mother, Virginia Houlden. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, of 61 years; his sister, Sandra Foye of North Grafton, daughter Deb Houlden-Engvall (Eric) of Kodiak, AK, daughter Lisa Henny (Brandon) of Nobleboro, ME, son Peter Houlden and daughter Lori Houlden, both of North Grafton. He leaves 9 grandchildren; Travis, Heather, Luke, Tyler, Hans,
Trevor, Anna, Logan, & Nick and 5 great grandchildren; Alivia, McKenna, Vivian, Lincoln, & TJ.
A Remembrance Service will be held for Punky Saturday March 11th at 11:00am at the shop on Houlden Farm followed by an afternoon of food, drinks and fun to celebrate his life and share memories and stories until 4pm. In his memory please bring along your favorite memory or story to this celebration and share it with others.