Howard Gonchar (91), died Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at his home in Kingston.
Born in 1928 in Wilkes-Barre, the oldest child of the late Isadore and Margaret Gonchar, Howard will be remembered for his generosity, intellectual curiosity, and entrepreneurial acumen. His reserve was well known, but it was tempered by an offbeat sense of humor. His trademark bowties complemented his impeccable sense of style.
He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and New York Military Academy. He was a veteran, having served in Japan in the aftermath of World War II.
Howard spent most of his adult life in the shoe manufacturing business. He was president of Carter Footwear. He and his brother, Leonard, who had complementary strengths, built a successful company with factories in Pennsylvania, Georgia, West Virginia, and the Dominican Republic. At its peak, Carter produced 26 million pairs of shoes annually and employed nearly 2,000 people.
Howard supported local educational institutions, including Wyoming Seminary and Misericordia University, as well as community organizations. For many years, he served on the board of the Jewish Community Center, overseeing renovations to its South River Street building in Wilkes-Barre. He had a special interest in the center’s summer camp, donating generously to that program.
He was devoted to his wife of almost 57 years, Jean Bloom Gonchar, who died in February. Together they enjoyed the company of family and lifelong friends. Howard was also preceded in death by his brother, Leonard Gonchar, and his sister, Sandra Herschenfeld.
He is survived by his three daughters, Ellen Horowitz (and her husband Sanford Horowitz), Nancy, and Joann (and her partner Evan Marks); grandchildren Hannah Summerfield Gonchar, Andrew Horowitz (and his wife Abigail Salisbury), Zachary Horowitz (and his wife Alison Horowitz); and great grandson Jordan Horowitz; and sister-in-law Lynn Gonchar.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd, at Rosenberg Funeral Chapel, 348 South River Street, Wilkes-Barre. Burial will take place at the Temple Israel Cemetery, Swoyersville.
Shiva will be observed from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, at the family home, 579 Westmoreland Avenue, Kingston.
Contributions can be made to the Rick Evans JCC Camp Fund, at https://www.jccdaycamp.com/donate/, or by mail to the Jewish Community Alliance of NEPA, Attn: Rick Evans, Director of Finance, 613 S.J. Strauss Lane, Kingston, PA 18704.
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