In Memory

Dr. Howard E. Cmejla - Class Of 1945

Howard Edward Cmejla died Friday, January 27, 2012, at his home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, at the age of 85.

Devoted to his family, Dr. Cmejla is survived by Margie, his loving wife of 63 years; their children, Laurie, John, Tom, Mike, Paul and Nancy; 12 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Childhood friends and high school sweethearts, Howard and Margie were married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1948.  

Born on December 25, 1926 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Howard was a graduate of Milwaukee's Washington High School class of 1945. Upon graduation, Howard served in the 437 Fighter Squadron-414 Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps and saw active duty in the Philippine Islands. After his honorable discharge in December 1946, Howard attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where, in addition to Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he completed his PhD in Zoology and Entomology. In 1954, Howard joined the Research and Development division of Abbott Laboratories in Waukegan, Illinois. Howard, Margie and their 6 children moved to Pelham Manor, New York in 1963, when he joined Ayerst Laboratories, a division of American Home Products. As director of regulatory liaison, Howard was responsible for managing the company's ongoing new pharmaceutical drug applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In August 1969, he was promoted to Vice President of research and development and remained in that position until his retirement from Ayerst in 1986.

While raising their family in Pelham Manor, New York, Howard and Margie joined Huguenot Memorial Church, where they were active members of the congregation for almost 25 years. During that time, Howard served the church as a member of the session, church deacon, regular usher and in numerous other roles.

In 1987, Howard and Margie moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where Howard quickly re-focused his energies as a member of the Riverside Presbyterian Church. He served as a member of the session and as a volunteer and contributor to many church projects and committees.

Howard also pursued his life-long love of music, joining the Community Band of Brevard in 1988, playing the baritone horn. He continued to play an active role with the band as a musician, organizer and manager for nearly 25 years. Howard also devoted a portion of his time as a weekly volunteer at Cape Canaveral Hospital.

In 1989, Howard and Margie began to travel. Their adventures included trips to Australia, New Zealand, and many parts of the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Regardless of where he and his family lived and what his focus might be, Howard's circle of life-long friends continued to grow throughout his life. He lived with an energetic spirit, a modest friendly nature and a unique sense of humor. He was admired for his keen intellect, green thumb, persistence, high standards, stunning hair, and tireless work ethic.

A Memorial Service will be held at the Riverside Presbyterian Church on Thursday, February 2nd at 2:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Howard's memory may be made to the Riverside Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund.