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Howard Fedden

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At his home in Sheridan, WY with loved ones at his side, Howard “Howie” William Fedden left this Earth to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at the age of 75.

Howard was born on April 21, 1948, to Howard and Mildred (Pakutka) Fedden in Pittston, PA, and was then introduced to his three older sisters Shirley, Helen, and Cathy.  Howard graduated from Pittston High School in 1966 where he played football and was also a trumpet player in the school band.

In 1967, Howard enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam Era. On May 17, 1969, he married his sweetheart of 3 1/2 years Maria Elena Wilchinski.  They moved to Mountain Home Air Force base in Idaho where Howard was stationed. There he was also assigned the extra duty of an Honor Guard bugler. While living in Mountain Home, Maria gave birth to their first child.  A beautiful daughter they named Carrey Ann.

After Howard’s enlistment, he attended Penn State University. In the fall of 1973, Howard was invited to become a Brother of the Forestry Fraternity, Tau Phi Delta. He graduated from PSU in 1974, a semester after his handsome son Kyle Paul was born.

Howard began his career with the Veterans Administration in Lebanon, PA as a Recreational Therapist. In 1980, he then transferred to the Sheridan Veterans Administration. Howard always enjoyed working with Veterans.  He utilized his interpersonal skills as a Recreational Therapist to plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based medical treatment programs to help veterans improve their physical, social, and emotional well-being.  He received many awards working for the VA.  While with the VA, he earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Wyoming. Howard retired in June 2006 after 30 years of service.

After retirement, Howard established a construction business where he built decks, and small buildings, and performed handyman work. This led to Howard being hired to work on the Gordon Ranch in Kaycee, WY.  He loved working on the ranch and everyone who was associated with it, and was extremely excited when asked to help with moving cattle and branding.  For a while, his dream came true, he was a cowboy!

Howard was also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  He was an active member in Sheridan and held every officer position including Commander and served as Senior Vice Commander of the Department of Wyoming. Howard looked forward to participating, mostly as a Team Leader, with the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Colorado for over 20 years. He was awarded over 2,500 hours of voluntary service from the Sheridan VA Health Care System Volunteer Program.

Howard also enjoyed volunteering. For over 25 years on Sundays at a local nursing home, he would help conduct church services and often serve as the song leader. He was always willing to help friends, neighbors, and often strangers at the drop of a hat.  Howard was often called a “Gentle Giant” due to his large physical size and kind gentle demeanor.  He loved giving strong handshakes or big bear hugs.  His service to others was certainly evident and was truly an important part of his everyday Christian life.

Howard was a true mountain man. He enjoyed spending as much time as he could with family and friends in the Big Horn Mountains engaging in camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, motorcycling, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, and skiing. Even the view of the mountains from the back deck of his home made him happy every single day! Howard loved fishing and hunting in many areas of Wyoming with his son and dear friends and looked forward to the annual deer hunt with his Penn State fraternity brothers.  Howard loved telling jokes, and stories, and playing his harmonica around the campfire.

His three beautiful granddaughters, Ella, Sahara, and Eliza, were Howard’s pride and joy!  He enjoyed teaching them about nature, watching them ride his horses, and playing with the dogs and chickens. Howard loved playing made-up games with them and just being the all-around “Great Grandpa”.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents and oldest sister Shirley Shandra.

He is survived and missed greatly by his wife of 54 years, Maria; daughter, Carrey Ann (Lenny) Mudlock (Mountain Top, PA); son Kyle Fedden (Sheridan, WY); grandchildren, Ella Fedden (and mother Jennifer Dart), (Sheridan, WY), Sahara and Eliza Mudlock (Mountain Top, PA); sisters, Helen (Gary) Price (Mountain Top, PA) and Cathy Horne (Guilford, CT); sister-in-law Jane (Charles) Dietrick (PA): brothers-in-laws Michael (Margie) Wilchinski (PA), James Shandra (PA); nieces Carla Dietrick (PA), Jennifer Dietrick (CA),  Natalie (Kevin) Kerney (PA), Stephanie (Ryan) Hawley (PA), Mary Elizabeth (Paul) Negri (CT), Jennifer Horne (CT), Suzanne Fisher (PA); nephews Jimmy Shandra (PA), Gary Michael (Mary) Price (PA), and Eric (Nikki) Price (PA).

A special thanks to family and friends who traveled to Billings, MT, and Casper WY, and then in Sheridan to visit Howard in the hospitals or rehabs after his fall that resulted in his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in June 2022. Also, to all who continued to visit him when he finally came home in November 2022. Heartfelt thanks to his team at the Sheridan VA Home Based Primary Care, his workers from Mel’s Helping Hands, Hospice of the Big Horns, and his son Kyle who showed his love by coming every evening to help get his dad up out of bed and ready for dinner, and his daughter who called every evening to check on her dad and tell him that she loved him.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 6 at 11 a.m. at the Brinton (239 Brinton Road Big Horn, WY)

Howard wishes to continue his support to our local veterans, so in place of flowers, please make donations to Disabled American Veterans HHH Chapter 9, P.O. Box 5064, Sheridan, WY   82801 Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com  Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar photo

    Russell Maxwell

    February 8, 2024 at 5:55 am

    God bless Howard and family.

  2. Avatar photo

    Marisa Olson

    May 20, 2024 at 4:54 pm

    Howard was such an awesome human being and I miss his huge smile and presence. Peace to all..

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    Tammy switzenberg

    May 22, 2024 at 11:03 am

    I remember Howard coming to Beckton School and supporting Maria when we had any school function. He helped out with anything that needed to be done. Expetially the heavy lifting or high to reach places. My heart goes out to the Fedden family. He was one of a kind.

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    Julie Harrison

    May 23, 2024 at 10:43 am

    I remember how kind Howard was. He and his good friend, Steve Reay, built our backyard deck after they retired and were in the construction business. I will remember him fondly, and also Steve who recently passed.

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