Man found dead in creek Tuesday loved racing, lived quietly

FILE PHOTO. Dan Watson Water in Bouquet Creek. 052015

The picture emerging of a man found dead in a creek Tuesday is one of a race car driver who lived for the race track’s roar of engines — yet also sought a quiet,solitary life in a tree-shaded cabin by Bouquet Creek.

County officials identified the man whose body was found in Bouquet Creek on Tuesday evening as 68-year-old Gary Howard.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives said Wednesday there were “no signs of foul play,” and the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner concluded Thursday that Howard died of natural causes.

Gary Glenn Howard, who at one time worked in research and development for Honda, was found Tuesday by friends who checked on him after three weeks of no communication.

The last they had heard of their friend was March 7. They found him face up in the creek that ran by his cabin, two miles south of the former Big Oaks Lodge.

Remembered will be a man passionate about racing, one of his friends said.

A check with United States Auto Club revealed Howard drove in at least 10 professional races since 1980.

He competed in “midget” open-wheel national races, two of them in 1984 — the 1984 USAC Jolly Rancher National Midget Series and the 1984 seventh annual Belleville Midget Nationals.

His last competition, according to the Swedish-based international list of races, was in 2002, when Howard competed in the 2002 Stoops Freightliner USAC National Sprint Car Series.

He drove in three races that year.

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On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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