"Mac", age 71, of Kalamazoo passed away peacefully at home March 13, 2018 surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. Born March 9, 1947, in Charleston, Missouri, Mac will be lovingly cherished by his wife and best friend of 49 years, Rae Lee, their children Sara Amy, Timothy (Christy) Howard and Jason (Jami) Howard. A caring grandfather, Mac is fondly remembered as 'Papa' by his eight grandchildren Gabriel and Stella, Avery, Cooper and Isabel, and Jenna, Jack and Jordyn. He is also survived and loved by sisters Mary Farrell (Chuck) and Carol Perjesi and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Willis Mac Howard Sr. and Beulah Watson. Mac proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, working as a medic in Germany from 1966-68. He then returned to Kalamazoo and began his career with the family business, IHS Distributing where he successfully led the charge for over 40 years, retiring in 2013. Over the course of his tenure, he built life-long friendships with restaurant and bar owners, store owners, and patrons alike throughout southwest Michigan. Mac was a great story teller and entertained many with his quick wit and great sense of humor. An avid reader, he enjoyed hunting and fishing at the family cabin in Baldwin, creating memories in South Haven, cultivating his garden and watching the Detroit Tigers. Throughout his lifetime he was actively involved in many community events, charity golf outings, downtown fund-raising initiatives as well as support of the local VFW. He was true to the '60s, insightful and loving and enjoying his people. His greatest accomplishment, however, was his family. In retirement, he and Rae Lee looked forward to weekly afternoons with their grandchildren where together they worked in the garden, cooked in the kitchen and tended to his dogs Doc, Kate and Abby. With help from his grandchildren, he recently built a fun family tree house where everyone enjoyed summertime campouts and fall bonfires. Home was truly a special place for Mac. His family is blessed with the life lessons he quietly and patiently shared in the moment, offering guidance by the example he set with his own actions. A celebration of Mac's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 16 at Langland Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th Street , Kalamazoo, MI 49009, where visitation with family and friends will take place on Thursday, March 15 from 5 p.m. 8 p.m. Memorial donations in memory of Mac can be made to Bronson Advanced Illness Management (A.I.M.), VFW and Mott Children's Hospital. Please visit Mac's personalized web page at www.langelands.com to sign the online guest book or leave a message for the family.