Journal of the San Juan Islands


Happy Birthday Howard, No. 93 | Editorial

March 11, 2014 · Updated 11:06 AM

Howard Schonberger / Contributed photo

The Journal wants to take the occasion of Howard Schonberger’s 93rd birthday on March 9 to wish him many happy returns of the day, and many more.

Howard’s been the do-everything guy at the Journal of the San Juan Islands for 35 years, which would be remarkable in itself, except that he started in the newspaper business as a paperboy 80 years ago in Nebraska, and he’s been making a living in the second-oldest profession ever since. He says proudly that he’s never been without a job.

Howard has a journalism degree from Northwestern University, and he’s worked for the “big boys” at such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, the Omaha World-Herald and the Associated Press, among others. But he loves community newspapers, having worked for the Palo Alto Times for 30 years before seeking refuge from the Bay Area in Friday Harbor, where he has been a fixture as a newsman, columnist and advertising salesman, trivia buff and Scrabble hustler.

Howard and his wife, Helen Sawyer, are regulars at Friday Harbor social and cultural events - and at the Rumor Mill trivia contest on Thursdays, where he’s “captain” of the Hell Box trivia team. He’s also a regular at the Presbyterian Church, where he’s a deacon.

This newspaper is only 15 years older than Howard. We can only hope that the paper is as respected, and as fun, as Howard is.

Help us wish “Happy Birthday Howard” by sending your greetings, and any good Schonberger stories, (Scrabble, anyone?) to publisher@sanjuanjournal.com.


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