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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2022 2:10 am    Post subject: In memoriam: Howard Waddell         Reply with quote

I saw on social media this morning that Howard Waddell, co-founder of Albion Swords, has passed. Howard was the 14th user to register here on myArmoury and joined the same day I did in 2003. While I canít claim I knew him well, we had a number of interactions through the years and I have a lot of respect for him, his character, and his work. His vision for and implementation of Albionís Next Gen lineup changed the production marketplace for the better.

Albionís tribute is pasted below.

Quote:
It is with devastation and great sadness that we must post this.

Howard (Howy) Livingston Keith Waddell III passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his sleep on April 14, 2022. Howard was a truly magnificent man, husband, father, and business owner. His mere existence made those around him better and stronger. An avid writer, reader, historian, political activist, and horseman, Howard co-founded with his wife, Amy, what is known as one of the greatest sword manufacturers in the world - Albion Swords - located in New Glarus.

Howard graduated magna cum laude from Marlboro College in Vermont, with a double major in History and Anthropology. He went on to do social work, where he learned the harsh lesson that not every family was as happy as his. His natural creativity later lured him to a marketing position for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, MA. His brilliant and tireless efforts earned him awards and accolades over the years, including mentions in several management textbooks and publications. One of the most prolific was his handling of the 1990 Back Bay train derailment. Over 450 people were injured, and Howard visited them all at the hospital. He also collected any belongings found on the train, and personally returned them to the commuters. The night before Back Bay subway station was reopened, Howard was asked to "pull together some coffee and donuts" for the commuters. In mere hours, Howard arranged for the best hotels in the city to set up tables on the platform, and provide a full coffee service, complete with linen table cloths, silver coffee urns, china cups and saucers, and an assortment of delectable pastries for the more than 10,000 commuters that morning. That's just the kind of man he was. When something was to be done, it was always to the best of his ability.

Right before founding Albion Swords, Howard was the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Labor in Washington DC. Working under the Clinton Administration, Howard handled the external relations activities for Secretary Robert Reich, and Secretary Alexis Herman. Again, he earned awards for his work, including the coveted Hammer Award from Vice President Gore.

He met his wife, Amy, in 1996. Knowing Howy's love for swords, for their first date, at Amy's suggestion, they went to Medieval Times in Chicago. The couple married at that same location exactly one year later, Howard in a full suit of armor, and Amy in a golden 15th century gown. Howard's sons, Tim and James, served as his groomsmen, carrying his sword and shield. Howard and Amy were married for 25 years, and he never faltered in his role of her knight in shining armor for even a second.

Howard was a wise man, whose advice was always spot on, and whose assistance was always a solution. He was generous in both heart and spirit, unable to say no to any opportunity to help people and animals. You would not know it by looking at his desk, but he had an organized mind, allowing him to walk into any form of chaos, and break it down into something manageable. His intelligence and strength of character were admired by many.

Howard put into Albion not just his time, but also his heart, soul, and uncompromising belief in the Rules of Knighthood:
Solitude
Humility
Gratitude
Pride
Cooperation
Friendship
Forgiveness
Honesty
Courage
Grace
Patience
Justice
Generosity
Discipline
Dedication
Speech
Faith
Equality
Love
and lastly, Death.
"Life is a long series of farewells; only the circumstances should surprise us. A knight concerns himself with gratitude for the life he has been given. He does not fear death, for the work one knight begins, others may finish." Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke of Cornwall, 1483

Using historical information, Howard set strict quality standards for Albion's sword line, which sent ripples throughout the industry, changing it for the better. He, alongside Peter Johnsson, developed an historically-accurate line of swords that they, Eric McHugh, and Albion staff, brought to life, and continue to bring to life every day. As Sir Thomas wrote, "...the work one knight begins, others may finish," and that is how it will be with Albion. Howy may have started it, but others will now keep it in motion, creating an even stronger company to honor Howard, his work, his passion, and his beliefs. The company has always been such a point of pride for Howard that every effort will always be made to continually earn and warrant his pride, regardless of temporal dimensions and limitations.

Howard is now in a state of well-deserved rest from a life richly lived; but his kindness, pure heart, and ability to bring such joy to those he loved, are undeniable testaments to the fact that he deserved a much longer life. The world will be a darker place for many, as they crave the light that followed him always.

Howard is survived by his adoring wife, Amy Christensen-Waddell, and his devoted son, Timothy Eoghan Waddell. He is preceded in death by his loving parents, Howard and Elaine (Nash) Waddell, and his much-missed son, James Kaven Waddell.

Per his wishes, no service will be held, but donations in his name to your local animal rescues and shelters would be very appreciated.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,430

PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2022 3:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, no! That's very distressing. I first met Howy and Amy back when "Albion Armorers" was new, and they ran it from the basement of their house here in Maryland. I visited him several times there (mostly pushing for more Roman products!), and he was always just really nice.

Raising a sword in his honor.

Matthew
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,624

PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2022 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I never met him but this is still very sad to hear.
"The goal shouldnít be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2022 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's horrible news!

Worse, in looking through their Facebook feed, they mentioned that Randal Graham had passed away in the last month. I've found no further details on that, however - if anyone has a link to an obituary or other info I'd appreciate it.

Daniel Watson (Angel Sword) also passed fairly recently, in December, and both Kirby and Laurie Wise have passed in the last several months.
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Eric Bergeron




Location: New Hampshire
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2022 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very sad news to hear. Condolences to the Waddell family.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Apr, 2022 3:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sad news and my condolences to Howard Waddell's family, friends and a loss to the whole community of collectors and HEMA practitioners.

I got my first Albion in the early 2000s and a few other Albions later on during the next decade or two.

Never had direct communication with him, but I can still feel the loss as very personal because Albion swords where the first quality swords I bought that where not fully custom orders.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 675

PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2022 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very sad news. My condolences to his family. Albion is his legacy, and most of us in the sword collecting community respect the work he did bringing Albion Swords to life. May he rest in peace.
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Jeremiah Swanger




Location: Central PA
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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Posts: 552

PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2022 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sincerest condolences to Howard's friends and family.

While I never got a chance to meet him, I did get the chance to visit the Albion showroom and meet a number of the craftsmen. It was a busy place, and it's worth noting that not every man gets to provide for his family by starting a business doing something he loves.

That alone is just one mark of a life well-lived.

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
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Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 496

PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2022 3:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My condolences to his family and friends.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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