Cover photo for Earl "Bootsie" Hower, Jr.'s Obituary
Earl "Bootsie" Hower, Jr. Profile Photo
1950 Earl 2022

Earl "Bootsie" Hower, Jr.

February 20, 1950 — January 16, 2022

Earl “Bootsie” Hower, Jr., 71, of Shiremanstown, passed away on Sunday, January 16, 2022 at home, with family by his side. He was the son of the late Earl W. and Anna M. (Mosebach) Hower, born on February 20, 1950 in Harrisburg.

Growing up in Harrisburg, Bootsie attended William Penn High School and would remain in Central PA all his life. He started his career in route sales with Strohman’s Bread, where he’d work for 20 years before deciding to work for himself. He and his wife, Diane, would go on to own and operate multiple concession and restaurant businesses and franchises throughout the years. Starting out with a lunch truck and a Murray Cookies business, the pair would go on to open their first restaurant, Hower’s Country Kitchen in New Cumberland. Earl was known for his second-to-none toast (when it wasn’t burnt), home fries, and a love of talking with customers. Earl and Diane then opened Hoagie Hut on the Carlisle Pike, along with a concession stand selling hotdogs and hamburgers outside of Home Depot. The two had a lunch truck most recently, and after “retirement,” Earl worked part-time at the Weis Market on Simpson Ferry Road, Mechanicsburg, stocking and displaying the bread.

He was a huge Elvis fan, and it was no secret that Graceland was his absolute favorite place to visit. He didn’t care much for the beach, but he loved going there with his family throughout the years. A lunchmeat connoisseur, he insisted on stopping at the original Billy’s Sub Shop & Pizza in Ocean City every time they’d visit. He was a lifelong PSU fan, especially with Joe Paterno at the helm, and he was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters during his 20 years with Strohman’s. He supported all of his kids and grandkids in their endeavors, and nothing made him happier than watching Cierra excel in karate, progressing from one belt to the next. And although his family adored him, an African grey parrot named Garrett will miss him just as much.

Surviving Earl is his wife of 33 years, Diane C. (Mouery) Hower; his children, Jodi Albin (husband, Joseph) of Dover, Lisa Wynings (husband, Douglas) of King George, VA, Michelle Hower of York, Jason Hower of Mechanicsburg, and Daniel Hower (Jacquie) of Mechanicsburg; the next generation, Cierra Hower of Shiremanstown, Adam, Allison and Aaron Albin, Danielle and Logan Wynings, and Brantley and Mason Hower; a sister, Linda Stock of York Haven; brother, Raymond Hower of Shiremanstown, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

In accordance with Earl’s wishes, there will be no services for the public. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in his name to Penn State Cancer Institute. Checks may be made out to “Penn State University,” and mailed to Office of University Development, 1249 Cocoa Avenue, Suite 115, PO Box 852, Hershey, PA 17033.


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