Wilkins, Jr. Calvin Howard

The Washington Times Daily - - FROM PAGE ONE -

Calvin Howard Wilkins Jr. passed away peace­fully on Satur­day, the 24th of De­cem­ber 2016 in his Palm Beach home. Howard served as the U.S. Am­bas­sador to the Nether­lands un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H. W. Bush, and was an ac­com­plished busi­ness­man, restau­ra­teur, po­lit­i­cal fundraiser, hus­band, fa­ther, and grand­fa­ther.

Howard Wilkins was born on Fe­bru­ary 19, 1938, to Calvin Howard Wilkins Sr. and Frances Jane Austin in Wichita, Kansas. He grad­u­ated from Yale Uni­ver­sity in 1960 where he rowed all four years; Yale Crew was an ex­pe­ri­ence he held close to his heart.

At an early age, Howard be­gan his ca­reer as an en­tre­pre­neur and was one of the rst fran­chisees of Pizza Hut. He went on to build and ac­quire over 500 res­tau­rants and other busi­nesses across the coun­try, in­clud­ing Pan­era Bread, Rent-a-Cen­ter, and Amar­illo Mesquite Grill, Inc. Howard was also Vice Chair­man of Pizza Hut, Inc and the rst Pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Pizza Hut Fran­chise Hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

A com­mit­ted Repub­li­can his en­tire life, he served as the Kansas nance chair­man for the Pres­i­dent Ger­ald Ford Com­mit­tee in 1975. He worked as the Fi­nance Chair­man for Robert Dole in his pres­i­den­tial bid in 1988, and was ap­pointed the U.S. Am­bas­sador to the Nether­lands by Ge­orge Bush in 1989. His ten­ure as am­bas­sador in­cluded not only the rst visit to the coun­try by a sit­ting pres­i­dent, but also a re­turn visit from Pres­i­dent Bush.

Howard was known for his kind­ness, gen­eros­ity, charm, and un­fail­ing pos­i­tive spirit. He was fond of the slo­gan, “Lead, Fol­low, or get the heck out of the way.” He had a pas­sion for read­ing, friends, and his fam­ily. Howard was mar­ried to Mary Mar­garet Phipps from 1965 to 1981. In 2003 he mar­ried Rhonda Louise Tan­ner, and to­gether they were fre­quent trav­el­ers vis­it­ing friends and fam­ily around the world.

Howard is lov­ingly re­mem­bered by his wife Rhonda; brother Robert Wilkins; daugh­ter Wendy; sons Trey, Ja­son, Garth and Tyler, and his nine grand­chil­dren. His younger sis­ter Jane Gi ord passed away in 2008. Howard›s nal re­quest was to be re­mem­bered not with a fu­neral, but with a cel­e­bra­tion, ex­pected to be held in Fe­bru­ary 4th in Wichita, KS fol­lowed by an­other event in Washington DC on Fe­bru­ary 6, 2017. De­tails of the cel­e­bra­tion will be avail­able soon.

In lieu of ow­ers, me­mo­rial do­na­tions may be made to the Wilkins Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, Inc, 302 North Rock Road, Suite 200, Wichita, KS 67206.

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