2018 Honoree: David J. Howard

The 14th annual Mary Diaz & William Copeland Jr. Memorial Tennis Tournament honoree is David J. Howard.  David lived in Dublin, Ohio with his beloved family, wife Berni and daughters Kelsey and Chloe.  He passed away on February 10, 2018 after a sixteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 47.  David was well cared for by OSU’s James Cancer Center and Ohio Health Hospice.

David grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio. He graduated from Huntington High School in Ross County where he excelled in academics and football, basketball and track.  He first met his wife when they were teenagers in a pig barn at a county fairground.  David’s parents, Robert and Cynthia, sister Lori, brother-in-law Rick, and nephew Noah are among the many who mourn his loss.  


David continued his education at The Ohio State University where he graduated with a degree in Zoology.  Family was always the most important facet of his life, and he and Berni were thrilled to welcome their first child before David graduated.  Berni remembered they earned a combined total of $10.75 per hour in 1993, but they were self-sufficient and immensely happy.  To forge a living, David taught himself about the information technology field and became an IT consultant.  At the time of his death, he worked at Cardinal Health where he was greatly liked and respected by his colleagues.  David would always describe himself as a loner, but he was never alone as people were always drawn to him.  Berni laughed, recalling a grocery delivery man who would pull up a chair to sit with David whenever he came to their house.

David was a fan of OSU Sports and the Cincinnati Reds. He enjoyed biking on the many trails near his home.  He was the family cook, a skill he learned from his grandmother and great-grandmother, whom he considered his best friends.  Berni says her husband was a funny man and there was much joy in their lives.  Most of all, David adored being a father, with Kelsey and Chloe at the center of his universe.  He let Berni understand that he had everything he wanted and had no regrets.  

Berni shared that David was extremely humble and that she, Kelsey and Chloe have been uplifted by the care and support they’ve received.  David watched the tournament last year to cheer on his family.  He was especially pleased that Berni had found a hobby she relished and asked her to promise to keep playing.