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Howard F. Confer

September 1, 1919 October 23, 2016
Howard F. Confer
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Obituary for Howard F. Confer

Howard Confer; a loyal friend, dedicated husband, successful business man and a pronounced outdoor sportsman. His accolades include being a world champion skeet shooter, winning the 1954 World Championships. He was president of the National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) and Chairman of the rules committee for NSSA for decades where he focused on improving the quality of targets and machines. An avid hunter, he truly enjoyed hunting game birds alongside his many hunting dogs. To him, there was nothing better than an early morning to start to a long day of duck hunting on Walpole Island. As a big game hunter he was constantly pushing the boundaries and pursuing adventure – a polar bear in Siberia, elephants, lions, leopards, and water buffalo in Africa. His ventures included everything from white tail deer hunting in Northern Michigan to bird hunting in Cuba, Mexico and the Amazon. For years Howard joined friends on horseback to track Antelope, Elk and Mule deer in the Rockies. Not only a well-travelled shotsman, he loved to fish when he could. No matter if it was trout on a local river or Salmon in Alaska he would cast his line. Over the years, Howard became a wonderful instructor for many students of skeet. He dedicated an immense amount of time to the development of Skeet, and truly enjoyed teaching the game to all his friends. He attended Detroit Gun Club almost every Wednesday and Sunday helping students learn the passion for shooting. Up until a few months ago, he remained busy designing clay pigeon traps and installing sporting clay courses across the US.

Howard Confer was born in a small log cabin in Bark River, Northern Michigan on September 1, 1919 from the union of Clinton Harvey Confer and Ethel Mae Fuller. After an extremely productive and rewarding life that lasted almost a century, he died on Sunday October 23, 2016 in his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Howard outlived his two sisters, Flora and Jessie, and two brothers, Lloyd and Arthur. He married his wife Letitia Jund on February 21, 1945, their union lasting 71 years until his death.

When Howard was two years old his family moved to Knapp, Wisconsin. He was raised on a dairy farm where he’d milk the cows each morning before walking to school. After school he’d walk to church and then return home to milk them again that same night. Howard and his brother Lloyd travelled to the Sierra Mountains in California every summer during high school and college to earn money. To save up for tuition they would work endlessly chopping down fourteen foot diameter redwood trees and dragging them to local saw mills. At Stout University, now a branch of University of Wisconsin, he studied Engineering and played on the football team. He moved to Detroit Michigan after graduation to teach at the Henry Ford Trade School. It was in Detroit that he met his future wife Letitia.

When World War II broke out Howard, as a true patriot, enlisted in the Navy. Before he shipped out he set up several multiple-spindle screw machine companies in the Detroit area. As the nation made the extraordinary transformation to war production, Howard spotted an opportunity. During the war Howard trained as a Naval pilot, flying every type of plane the Navy owned and training hundreds of young men for battle overseas.

When Howard returned, he married his love Letitia and started two multiple-spindle screw machine companies, Condamatic and Condor Mfg. The latter successfully expanding into one of the leading automotive parts supplier for over a century in the midst of what would become one of the most competitive manufacturing environments. He was a smart, savvy and driven entrepreneur thriving in unique times across the nation. He came from a generation where hard work, war and sacrifice was normal. He truly thrived across his personal and professional life up until the grand age of 97. He lived an amazing life.

Howard is loved, remembered and survived by his wife Letitia, two children Daniel (Debbie) and Sheri (Steve) Confer, grandchildren, Carrie and Cole (Maria) Confer and Hunter and Sara Dzierbicki, and great grandson, Xavier Confer.

A Funeral Service will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Monday, October 31st at 11am. Friends may visit beginning at 10am.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

For those who wish to remember Howard and his love of Skeet Shooting, please send tax deductible donations to NSSA. Please notate the following on the memo line of the donor’s check or provide a separate letter accompanying the check: In Memory of Howard Confer to Support (a) the NSSA Skeet Program (b) NSSA Youth Skeet Shooting or (c) NSSA HOF/Museum. For your tax records the Federal Tax ID number of NSSA is 75-0108632

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