Clifton “Chris” W. Howard

Born: July 12, 1960
Died: August 30, 2019
Funeral Service: Private
Celebration of Life Service: To be announced

Clifton “Chris” W. Howard, a resident of Schaumburg, was born on July 12, 1960 in Hazel Crest, IL to Bobby Joel and Darlene Kay (nee Fischer). The eldest of five children, he passed away on August 30, 2019 with his loving husband at his side. He died from complications from cancer surgery.

Upon graduation from Crystal Lake High School, Clif enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served onboard aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran Hostage Crisis. After his first tour of duty, Clif re-enlisted and was assigned to special IT projects for The Department of Defense in North Chicago where he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
After his honorable discharge from his eight years in the Navy, Clif entered the Information Technology field. He began as a programmer analyst for Kemper Insurance while earning his associate degree from Columbia College. He moved on to Boise Cascade as a Data Base Analyst and completed his bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University. He became Director at Anixter International for 9 years, and then Chief Information Officer for Sage Enterprises. In 2001, Clif completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management program. Clif finished his career at Staples/Quill serving for 12 years as Vice President of Information Technology, eCommerce and Business Intelligence. He retired in 2013.

Clif loved cooking. He took online cooking courses and became quite the chef during his brief retirement. He also enjoyed sporting events, dining with friends, gardening, bowling, movies, and later in life, Chardonnay. He will be remembered for his positive attitude and bright smile. And for being the classic over-achiever. He never did anything half-way. He was wired to strive for the best, and went all-in.

Clif is survived by his loving husband and partner of 37 years, Donald Stelzer; beloved brother of Stacey (Clint) Gerretson, Robert (Mary); adoring uncle of Bobby, Karolina, Kaylee (Brent) Buschmann and Tommy Auxier; fond great uncle of Adeline and Mallory; Clif was preceded by sisters Rebecca (Auxier) and Jeanine. Clif is also survived by his extended family, Al and Karyn Brooks, sons Jon (Cheryl) and Bradly (Breanne), and grandsons Colin, Ethan and Easton. Dear friend to many, he will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Clif’s name can be made to a charity of your choice.

For information please call Michaels at 847-891-2900. We invite you to add a condolence for the family on our website or on the facebook post.