​Roosevelt "Rudy" Howard
April 9, 1948 - July 14, 2015

Longtime staff member Rudy Howard, 65, went home to be with Jesus on July 14, 2015. Howard was part of George and Martie Sheffer’s Young Life club at Marshall High School, on the west side of Chicago. He met Christ in 1963 at Frontier Ranch during the “20 minutes of silence” (a time for campers to consider what the message about the cross means to them). In a 1999 interview, Howard recalled that life-changing moment. “That particular summer Mitch [Bob Mitchell] was speaking in the Kachina and said, ‘If you were the only person on earth, Jesus Christ would have still died for you.’ Even though I had been in church and everything, I’d never heard it like that. I went out back, looked up at all the stars and quietly asked Christ into my life.”

Howard graduated from Hope College, then Western Michigan University with a degree in social work. He came on full-time Young Life staff in 1972 in Houston, Texas, where he helped pioneer the urban work and served as an area director for 13 years. He also served as the co-chair of the Urban Primus Council, and in 1986 moved to Denver to join the National Urban Office as the associate Urban director. After his time on staff, Howard served in other pastoral capacities, most recently as the director of Luke 4:18 ministries in Memphis, Tennessee. He continued to volunteer with Young Life at Central High School until the time of his passing. Howard is survived by his wife, Kathy, and his son, Christian. A joyful, caring man who generously shared his gifts of speaking, music and humor with this mission and so many others, Rudy Howard will be greatly missed.