Howard William Supplee
Howard William Supplee, a World War II veteran, businessman, volunteer firefighter, and life-long resident of Oreland, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully at the Hill at Whitemarsh after a brief illness on June 16, 2021. He was born in the family home on Lorraine Avenue to Leonard Shaffer Supplee and Anna Elizabeth Mauthe Supplee on October 7, 1926 along with his twin brother Leonard, Jr. They also had a younger brother, Warren. He attended Springfield Township public schools and graduated high school early with his brother to volunteer with the Army of the United States. He served during World War II as a B-17 Flying Fortress engineer at the Air Base in Narsarsuaq, Greenland. After their service, he and his brother attended Spring Garden Institute to transition from bombers to automobiles and opened a gas station and repair shop in 1950 next to the family home on Lorraine Avenue. The twins combined their love of mechanics with fire service and began specializing in the repair of fire trucks, particularly pump repair in the late 1970s. They serviced fire trucks up and down the east coast for over forty years. After his twin brother passed, Howard and his nephews Daniel and William continued the business until 2020. Additionally, the twins and their brother gave their time and energy to the Oreland Volunteer Fire Company, a family tradition going back to the founding in 1908 and continued by two more generations of Supplees today. Howard served in various roles including Chief, Chief Engineer, Assistant Chief and Chairman of the Building Committee that was instrumental in the construction of the new fire station on Bruce Avenue. He also taught classes at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy and upon his retirement was awarded the title of Instructor Emeritus. Always fascinated by air travel, Howard pursued his pilot’s license and developed many hobbies during his long-life including fishing, photography, motorcycling, model trains, and carpentry. In his last year, he spent time tending his yard on his John Deere tractor and visiting with his family members mostly on video chats.
He is survived by his two daughters, Dr. Joan E. Supplee (widow of Dr. Daniel P. Greene) of Waco, Texas and Kathleen H. Supplee and her partner Frank Green of Blue Bell, Pa. and as well as many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and two great-great nieces and a nephew. He was preceded in death by his wife of sixty years, Betty S. Supplee and a son, George R. Supplee. He also counted on many friends and neighbors, particularly Fred and Mary Haesler, who kept in touch with him daily.
Relatives and friends are invited to Howard’s Celebration of Life Saturday 7/17, 11 am at the Oreland Volunteer Fire Department, 1500 Bruce Rd. Oreland, PA 19075. Friends may visit with his family prior to the service 9:30 am to 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Oreland Volunteer Fire Company in Howard’s name.