Aug. 15, 1967 — March 12, 2018

Robert Kirk “Fat Rob” Howard, 50, died March 12 surrounded by family and friends at his Sonora home after a short illness.

Rob was known for his sense of humor by friends, family and his many car customers and mechanic friends. He was the guy friends sought out and wanted to be with. He was warm-hearted, thoughtful and even tempered, and his counsel will be missed by many.

His enthusiasm and spontaneity had many people who knew him exploring this beautiful back country of ours, anywhere a four-wheel-drive would take him. He had a gift for storytelling and was a picker and barterer for anything Chevy, for which his enthusiasm was relentless.

The greatest joy of his life was being a dad to Freddy and seeing him grow into a respectful, kind and accomplished young man. He was truly all about his wife, Deb, his son, and family and friends who were like family to him.

It is with the deepest love we remember our big-hearted bear.

Rob is survived by his wife, Debra “Little Deb” Howard, of Sonora; son, Freddy Caler, and his fiancee, Vanessa Vela, of Sonora; his mom and stepdad, Dolores and Steve Nilan, of Sonora; and various aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A celebration of Rob’s life will be held Saturday on the Westside property in Tuolumne. The event will include a car show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for bikes, hot rods, rat rods, rock crawlers and others. A memorial service for Rob will begin at 1 p.m. For information on the event, call Caler at (209) 743-5208, Colleen Leslie at (209) 840-1664 or Jimbo Fryer at (209) 213-9667.

Don't cry because I'm gone. I had a lifetime of love, burnouts, wheelin', great memories and no regrets. Remember, I'm always with you.

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