Haddonfield 65 Club: Pillars of the Community

Inevitable destiny. Those words best define who Ron Howley became on life’s tour as an educator and multiple sports coach, as well as an inspiration to thousands of young people.

By Saul Resnick

Inevitable destiny. Those words best define who Ron Howley became on life’s tour as an educator and multiple sports coach, as well as an inspiration to thousands of young people.

Add to that six sons, 17 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and you know why Ron and his wife, Sally, married 60 years, count their blessings for their very rich and rewarding lives.

“From the beginning, thanks to my parents Harold and Marie, I knew what I wanted to do,” recalled Ron. “My dad was an outstanding high school athlete, served as a Marine in the Pacific during World War 2 — performing heroics for which he was decorated — and in civilian life was an owner of a local grocery store, supplementing his income by becoming an excellent referee and umpire in sandlot, high school and college football and baseball for decades.

“Thanks to dad, I became an ‘athletic junkie’, excelled at sports and academics at Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, earned a football scholarship to Temple University, and then had a lengthy, fulfilling teaching and coaching career in several high schools. It allowed me to help thousands of young men with not only their sports activities, but with academics which led to successful lives. And the high school football teams I helped coach in Philadelphia were big time winners and champions for a number of years.”
Ron and his wife Sally moved to Haddonfield in 2005, after raising their family of six sons, Rick, Ron, Paul, Ted, Tim and Andy, all happily married with solid careers. The family’s expansion of grandkids and great grandkids, with a good number living locally, gives the Howleys the opportunity to enjoy visits frequently.

In “The Prophet,” author Kahlil Gibran wrote, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth…that they may go swift and far…from the bow that is stable.” For Ron and Sally their arrows, both personal and in their careers, have given them a great sense of accomplishment.
Now Ron is an active member of the Haddonfield community, participating in 65 Club charitable and community activities, as well as many actions to help others locally (360).

Looking back, Ron recalls many memorable achievements. “At Roxborough High in Philadelphia, I played 3 years of varsity football and 2 years each of baseball and basketball. My senior year I was captain of both the football and basketball teams, and was all public league in football as a center and 2nd team all scholastic. In addition, I was voted outstanding athlete in the senior class. Then, at Temple, I was captain of the football team in my senior year, and earned a degree in Health and Physical Education.” Ron also served six years in the Army Reserve, and earned a Masters Degree from Trenton State College in secondary administration in 1966.

“I taught and coached football and other sports, beginning in 1958 at a brand new school, Triton High in Runnemede, NJ,” said Ron. “In 1965 I moved on to Frankford High School in Philly as a teacher and an assistant coach for the football team, helping teams led by legendary head coach Al Angelo win 10 public league championships from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s. I was very fortunate to be part of the great football legacy.” Subsequently, in 1985 Ron headed the Health and Physical Education Department at West Philadelphia High School and was athletic director, later moved on to similar duties at Roxborough High and retired in 1993. In 1968 Ron was named

“Teacher of the Year,” and in 1976 “Coach of the Year” by his peers.
Ron credits Sally with taking on the major responsibility of raising their family, and for continuing her own career in teaching, eventually earning a Masters Degree, while at the same time spending 25 years as an educator, including years as a reading teacher and counselor at Collingswood Middle School. “An amazing person, by any measure, who I’ve been privileged to spend my life with,” Ron said. “I’m one lucky guy and still being around to appreciate it, gives me the greatest joy of all.”