Day At The Track

Howard 'Howie' Kuebler passes at age 87

07:39 PM 27 Jan 2010 NZDT
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Longtime California harness racing owner and father to "Fred and Rick Kuebler " Howard Kuebler passed away on December 29, 2009. "Howie" as he was called by friends and family, was born on October 12th, 1922 to Charles and Mary Kuebler. Growing up in Jasper, Indiana with his older brother, Charles Jr., Howard was a basketball star and voted the "All American Boy" of his graduating class.

Howie was proud to have entered the United States Marine Corps in September of 1942. He served as an active Marine for 40 months during WWII and rose to the ranks of Staff Sgt. Once a Marine, though, Howie was always a Marine and could often be heard signing the Marine Corps Hymn to his children and grandchildren.

In 1945 he met the "Love of his Life", Elise DeFrancesco and later in 1948 they were married. From 1946 to 1950 Howie attended Indiana University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He later achieved a Master of Arts degree in Education from New York University in 1951.

In 1960, Howie and Elise moved to their long time residence in Northridge, California, just a few blocks from CSUN. In 1964, they purchased My Hero Submarine Sandwich Shop where Howie worked full time until they sold it in 2003.

Howard was a regular attendee of his son's adventures in harness racing. So in 1974, Howard and Elise formed The My Hero Racing Stable named after their sandwich shop. With son Rick at the reins and eldest son Fred as the trainer it was a family affair for many years. Campaigning such horses as The Thister Thavage, The Thilly Brudder and Idaten, My Hero Racing Stables was a prominent owner and breeder in California, racing at Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos, Bay Meadows and Golden Bear Raceway.

A Family man, Howie tried never to miss a grandchild's theater event, sporting event or graduation ceremony. In 2007, Howard and Elise were there when Rick, his youngest son, met his goal and won his 4284th race aboard California Dream, tying his idol Joe O'Brien's win record. Rick then retired from driving amassing $19,627,879 in purses. In 2008, Howard saw Rick inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Sadly, Howard passed away not knowing that his eldest son Fred was also inducted into the California Hall of Fame this past week.

Howie is well known as an extremely generous man who often gave out free subs and his famous $2 bills to different people that he met.

Howard Kuebler is survived by his wife of 62 years, Elise: his two sons, Fred and Rick: his daughter Tina: his grandchildren: Amy, Karrie, Mark, Corey and Kacey, and his great grandchildren: Michael, Benjamin, Daniel,Katie, Elizabeth, Addison, Troy and Mathew.

By Robin Clements with California Horsemen's Harness Association

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