Scout Executive's Minute - Remembering Howard Kidder

Bridge Past and Future

By: John Andrews, Northern Star Council Scout Executive/CEO

The next time you have an opportunity to provide a Scoutmaster’s minute to young people, consider telling them about Howard Kidder, and how he lived his life to help others.

Howard grew up on Wakefield Avenue in East Saint Paul in the 1930s, and lived in his boyhood home most of his life after his parents were gone. He became an Eagle Scout in the troop that met at his neighborhood church, and he remained associated with both the troop and the church and the families in his neighborhood till his death at age 93.

He was a Major in the Army Air Force during World War II in Hawaii, monitoring radar. He became very close to the residents of Lanai, returning many times for high school commencements for the many young people that he provided scholarships for. He was a long-term supporter of the Union Gospel Mission in Saint Paul and not only started, but supported personally and financially, the dental clinic at the Mission for many years.

Howard was an Electrical Engineer by training, working for Honeywell and, later, the Apollo Space Program. Howard was directly involved in saving the lives of the Apollo XIII astronauts when they were returning from the Moon and were running out of oxygen. He helped figure out what was “on board” that could be repurposed to produce oxygen!

There are many reasons to always remember Howard Kidder and how he lived his life, but he remembered us too. He remembered the young people that benefit from Scouting, and this month nearly three hundred thousand dollars was added to the Northern Star Trust, following his death.

He had a name, a life, a purpose, and he wanted young people to have the same.

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