Howard W. Wirth, 91, passed away on Sunday, December 1, at Hospice of the Valley in Surprise, AZ., with his wife, Debra, and dear friend, Dr. Jeff Ronn by his side until the end. Born in New York, New York in 1928, the only child of Ruth and Ben Wirth, he attended Central High and Temple University then started working for the candy industry on the East coast for a number of years before moving to Chicago Illinois suburbs in the 1960s to start the Wirth-Daniels Candy Brokerage which eventually changed to Wirth-Carlin-O’Brien in the early 1980’s. Howard was well known and highly respected in the candy industry including being inducted into the National Candy Hall of Fame in 1992. At the end of 1994, Howard retired to Arizona’s Phoenix area until his death. He enjoyed art tremendously and became quite the collector of Southwestern Native American pottery and kachinas. Visits to The Heard Museum and art Galleries in Scottsdale were favorite pass times. Howard is survived by his wife, Debra (nee Dahl), daughter from first marriage with Diane Karzen…Wendy Famularo (Richard), grandsons Jason (Selena) Famularo, Kyle (Tina) Famularo, and great grandchildren Jacob Famularo, Vincent Famularo, and Audrey Famularo. Preceding him in death is Howard’s son, Robert.
There will be a Celebration of Life at the family home in Sun City West, for friends and family, on Saturday, January, 18, from noon to 5 pm where Howard stories will be shared. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ASPCA or Hospice of the Valley (in Arizona), in Howard’s name.
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