There aren’t many people who can claim to be a staple of a community for more than a century.
Howard McBride had that distinction in Springfield.
McBride, 106, died Feb. 17 and the near lifelong Springfield resident more than left his impact on the community.
“He was always proud to tell people that he was within 20 miles of Springfield his entire life,” said his granddaughter Michele McBride. “He liked the small-town country life. He didn’t like it too fast-paced.”
Born March 19, 1909, McBride graduated from Springfield High School, where he was a member of the basketball team. He farmed the majority of his life but also spent nearly 20 years working in a local grain elevator.
He remained in his house in Springfield until moving to an assisted care facility in Louisville about two years ago.
“Even until his death, he was very alert mentally and had all his faculties,” Michele said.
He was named the Grand Marshal for the 2010 Springfield Days parade and was honored with the Springfielder at Heart award in 2012. McBride would often speak at local schools to talk about his days growing up in Springfield. He was also a longtime member of Springfield United Methodist Church.
Michele said telling stories, and making people laugh, was one of his strong suits.
“He was known for his sense of humor and that existed until the day he died,” she said. “He had a good sense of making people laugh.
“When he turned 106, he bragged to everyone that it had been 100 years since he started school.”
Michele said he had a simple solution to living a long productive life.
“He always said don’t drink, don’t smoke and don’t chase women,” she said.
He did chase, and catch, one woman as he was married to Berdetta for 74 years before her death in 2008. They had three sons, each of whom preceded Howard in death.
Michele said Howard often spoke of how Springfield only had about three businesses when he was a kid. He remained active in the community as neighbors would often spot him on his daily 1-mile walks at the age of 103.
“He was a very big part of the community,” Michele said. “He will be greatly missed.”
In addition to Michele, McBride’s survivors include grandchild Barbara [Mike] Klopper along with great-grandchildren Jackson and Zachary Klopper.