Mr. Howard Gray Brotherton, 76, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, passed away July 9, 2021 in the comfort of his home surrounded by loving family. Born in Catawba County, North Carolina, Howard was the oldest child of the late Willys and Neva Brotherton. He is survived by his loving wife of forty-eight years, Shirley; his beloved son, Andrew and his wife Katie; his precious granddaughters, Emma and Molly; his brother Willys (Skip); Skip’s wife Carmen; his sister Joye, and many special family members and dear friends.
Growing up in Aiken, South Carolina, Howard excelled in school and enjoyed playing basketball and baseball. Howard was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina in electrical engineering. He was also catcher for the Carolina baseball team and remained an avid Gamecock fan for life. Howard began his career with General Electric’s aerospace division which later became Lockheed-Martin. Howard applied cutting edge technology in support of some of our nation’s most critical defense programs and his long and productive career contributed to the safety and prosperity of our country.
Howard was dedicated to his clients and the people with whom he worked. He was a mentor to many and treated everyone with respect. Howard was recognized as a pioneer awardee by the National Reconnaissance Office, a very exclusive and prestigious award that recognizes a few select individuals who have made significant contributions to the national security of the United States. The dedication of a building in his honor on Lockheed-Martin’s Valley Forge, Pennsylvania campus symbolizes the impact and achievements that Howard made over his career. Howard was a true leader, an icon in his field, and will be forever remembered by those he touched both professionally and personally.
Upon retirement of a four-decade career from Lockheed-Martin, Howard spent his days golfing with friends and traveling with his wife. Howard and Shirley took full advantage of retirement and traveled the world enjoying trips to Italy, France, the Mediterranean, the Danube, Canada, England, the American West, and Hawaii.
Howard was a devoted father and coached Andrew’s baseball teams and was the perfect role model for his son. By far, Howard’s favorite role was Grandfather, doting on his granddaughters whom he loved so much. He was a regular on the sidelines of their softball games and relished keeping the official scorebook and offering constant words of encouragement. He was truly devoted to his family and friends and will be dearly missed.
Visitation for Howard will be held Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at 9:30 am, followed by the service at 11:00 am. The visitation and service will be held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (594 Church St #1, Royersford, PA 19468) officiated by Rev. Janelle Krais. The interment will be at Limerick Garden of Memories in Limerick following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Howard may be made in support of glioblastoma research at Jefferson. Please make checks payable to “Jefferson” and mail to: Jefferson Office of Institutional Advancement, Department 825434, PO Box 71331, Philadelphia PA 19176 or donate online at

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