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Howard S. London

ITHACA – Howard London passed away on September 23, 2022 at the age of 87.

Howard was born in Rochester, NY in 1934 to Gussie and Joe London.  He and his older brother Ed grew up surrounded by a large close family of aunts, uncles and cousins.  Howard was a hiker and a cross-country skier.  He loved the out-of-doors and was a strong conservationist.

After graduating from Cornell with degrees in Engineering Physics and Aeronautical Engineering, he worked for United Aircraft for several years.  In the early 1960’s he joined Bellcom, a small subsidiary of AT&T in Washington, DC that worked exclusively for the Office of Manned Space Flight at NASA.  Howard had a front row seat for early space exploration, working on feasibility studies for manned missions to Mars and for a reusable launch vehicle (the Space Shuttle).  He was in Houston at Mission Control when the first U.S. man walked on the moon, and later he and his wife, as spectators on the ground, watched an Apollo mission lift off in Florida.  

In Washington he met and married Harriet Johnson London, his wife of almost 54 years. Their daughter Sarah was born there.  When AT&T went out of the space business, Howard moved to Bell Labs in New Jersey.  He, Harriet and Sarah moved to New Providence, NJ, and their son Josh was born there a short time later.

When Harriet and Howard retired in 1995, they returned to the Finger Lakes area they loved. They built a home on a beautiful piece of property and immersed themselves in the Ithaca and Lansing communities.  The gorges and hills provided Howard with beautiful places for days of hiking and skiing.  He loved wine and the Finger Lakes wineries. He did web work for several of the wineries, getting to know their owners well.

Howard did volunteer work for a number of local organizations, including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Museum of the Earth (PRI), and the Finger Lakes Land Trust.  He was a trained Master Gardener and a home vegetable gardener.  His two longest volunteer “gigs” were for the tax counseling program at Lifelong (25 years) and the Friendship Donations Network.

He loved music and enjoyed the many opportunities to hear live music in the Ithaca area.  He was an avid reader and a strong supporter of the Lansing Library, working with staff to select new non-fiction for its collection. 

Howard took back country ski tours in the West and Canada and hiked the Adirondacks and the Catskills, taking beautiful photographs wherever he went. He and Harriet enjoyed many memorable trips together, especially to Block Island and the Southwest.

He was immensely proud of the wonderful human beings Sarah and Josh grew up to be and knew himself to be the luckiest father-in-law in the world.  His grandchildren Nate, Nick and Annabelle were the delight of his life.  He loved introducing them to the world he loved - the woods, the lake and the gorges - and he loved simply spending time with them.

He lived a full, active life, walking every day - a familiar sight to all his neighbors.  His was a long life well lived.  He was loved by many and will be missed forever.

He is survived by: his wife Harriet London;  his daughter Sarah London Pangburn, her husband Brett and their daughter Annabelle; his son Josh London, his wife Jennifer and their sons Nate and Nick; and his nieces Patty, Nancy and Liz and their families.

Contributions in his memory may be made to: The Nature Conservancy 4245 North Fairfax Dr. Suite 100, Arlington VA 22203-1606; the Finger Lakes Land Trust 202 East Court St. Ithaca NY 14850; or a charity of your choice.


Harriet, our sympathy goes out to you as you have to go on without your loving companion at your side. He seemed to be an amazing man.

Dave Stoyell Oct 8 2022 9:15 AM

I came to know Howard when he delivered to The Salvation Army on Albany St. From then on I looked forward to his great conversations when he arrived. Fridays were the best day ever because I was able to see Howard. I didn't find out until today of his passing. I am saddened. Thankful he had a full and blessed life.

Diana Vrabel Oct 7 2022 1:57 PM

I knew Howard through our volunteer work for Friendship Donations Network. His contributions included answering the FDN phone on weekends and during holiday periods. I would always enjoy getting calls from Howard, on occasion, when he needed to discuss a food donation challenge or get around a technical glitch with our phone system. He was a great man to work with, I will miss him very much.

Ken Finkelstein Sep 26 2022 7:26 PM