Richard J. Howard, 77, of Walton passed away unexpectedly on Thursday morning, December 22, 2022 at home. Rick was born on July 20, 1945 in Brooklyn, NY the son of the late Joseph and Dorothy (Blanco) Howard. He proudly served his country in the U. S. Army. On October 4, 1985 he married the former Jocelyn Garin in Brooklyn at St. Columba Church. Rick served 40 years in the NY courts and was a noted Criminal Law expert, lecturer, author, and judicial educator. He championed the rights of US Army Veterans from World War II in the Philippines and acted as a counselor to the NYC College Police Program. After retiring he became Oblate of the Order of St. Benedict and a speaker on Catholic Justice. He believed that the Evolution of Life, and the Emergent Universe, draws all things closer to God. Rick was a faithful member of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Walton. He enjoyed reading, writing, and visiting with people. Rick is survived by his loving wife, Jocelyn, brother in law, Eduardo Garin, Hilario Garin (Maria Riza) nephews, Christian Garin, Edwardson Garin, and nieces, Gladys Rind (Leroy), Maica Garin. Family and friends are invited to call on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 and Wednesday December 28, 2022 from 3PM to 6PM at Courtney Funeral Home, 25 Townsend Street, Walton. A Mass of the Christian burial will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 11 AM at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, 25 Benton Avenue, Walton with Fr. Edward Golding, celebrant. The luncheon will be held at the Walton Fire Dept. hall, 61 West Street, Walton following the Mass. Burial will be held in the Walton Cemetery in the spring of 2023 at a time and date to be announced. Memorial Contributions in Richard’s memory may be made to St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church.