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W. James Howard, local conservationist


W. James Howard, a dedicated conservationist and advocate of the preservation of open space in Baltimore County, died Saturdayfrom complications of emphysema at his home in the Green Spring Valley. He was 63.

A real estate agent with W.H.C. Wilson & Co. Realtors in Baltimore for over 30 years, Mr. Howard, along with other members of his family, donated the development rights of more than 100 acres in the Green Spring Valley to the Maryland Environmental Trust.

He was a member of the Valleys Planning Council, which works to preserve open space in the Green Spring and Worthington valleys.

"He was an extraordinary supporter of the concept of open space and preserving the agricultural areas of Baltimore County," said Margaret Worrall, executive director of the council.

"He was someone who was very much charged with public spirit and looked toward the bigger picture and what life would be like for people 25, 35 or 150 years from now," she said. "He wanted to make sure they would have the natural beauty and the open countryside, things that he feels his generation was blessed with."

Mr. Howard owned many horses that ran in the annual Grand National and Maryland Hunt Cup timber races, and had ridden in the races himself. He enjoyed fox hunting as a member of the Greenspring Valley Hounds and the Elkridge-Harford Hounds. He was a partner in the Arcadia Stable.

He also played tennis and had competed in several local tennis tournaments.

The 1949 graduate of Gilman School graduated from Princeton University in 1953. In the early 1950s, he served with the Army in France.

He was a descendant of John Eager Howard, the Revolutionary War hero and 1788-1791 governor of Maryland who went on to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Howard and the former Nancy Horne were married in 1964. Mrs. Howard died in 1991.

A former member of the board of governors of the Maryland Club, Mr. Howard was a member of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Keep Maryland Beautiful, Chestnut Ridge Improvement Association and St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Garrison Forest.

Services are scheduled at 11 a.m. tomorrrow at the church.

He is survived by a daughter, Mary Greenwood Howard of Columbus, Ohio; a son, Stephen Sheldon Howard of Stevenson; and a sister, Lucy Howard of New York.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Valleys Planning Council.

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