Howard Lewis Fish Jr. was born in Flint, MI, in 1940. He was raised by parents Ruby and Howard Fish Sr. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin alongside sisters Carol and Nancy. Howard graduated from Wauwatosa high school in 1958. As a teenager, Howard picked up the sport of Judo, which shaped the course of his early life. His judo path lead him to San Jose State University, in which he became a very accomplished and recognized Judoka. During this time he met many of his lifelong friends including his wife, Yolanda. Howard and Yolanda raised two children, Bill and Linda, in Napa, California. Howard entered the real estate finance business in 1972, spending time in both the private and public sector before retiring in 2000 from the State of California.
After retiring Howard turned his focus back to learning, attending Napa Valley College and taking classes in various languages, music, and wine making. He and Yolanda have enjoyed their last years together traveling around the world and entertaining friends and family at their home in Napa. Shortly before Howard’s passing he was inducted into the USA Judo Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Yolanda, their two children, Bill Fish and Linda Swindell, Bill’s wife Kristi, his grandchildren, Shelli, Shannon, and Robbie Swindell, and Kailey and Hannah Fish, his sisters Nancy DePue and Carol Wehrman, his two nieces Lisa Schmidt and Joanne DePue, several cousins, and many great friends.
A service celebrating Howard’s life was held at Tulocay Cemetery on June 18, 2019. In Lieu of flowers a donation to San Jose State Judo or San Jose Buddhist Judo Club has been suggested.