Howard Olav Barikmo, 91, of Scottsdale, Az passed away quietly on March 7, 2023 of “really old age”. Howard was born on July 13, 1931 to Olav and Nora Barikmo in Garden City, Michigan.
Howard, at age 6, began an adventure of a lifetime to visit his grandfather in Norway for 1 year but was caught in the predicament of World War II ravishing Europe. He was not able to return home until 1942, after many years of pleas to the US government by his parents. He came home to meet a brother born while he was away and not remembering his English language, only speaking Norwegian. He quickly acclimated, returning to his American way of life.
Howard graduated from Lowery High School, Dearborn, MI in 1949. He was activated for the Korean conflict through Michigan Air National Guard, being stationed at Luke Air Force base in Glendale, AZ until his discharge in 1951. He went on to study electrical engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI where he joined the Air Force ROTC, graduating in 1956.
Howard moved to the west to work in warm weather for Motorola, first in California and then in Arizona. He met Elaine on a blind date in 1957, dated for a few months, and then married in May of that year. They had 2 daughters, Cindy and Sharon. They were married for 54 years, until Elaine’s death.
Howard continued with the Arizona Air National Guard in active reserve while working at Motorola until he chose to work full-time as radar commander of the ANG 107th Air Control Squadron, retiring in 1979. Howard then found his passion for photovoltaics (solar energy). He joined the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers becoming secretary for the International Photovoltaics Standards group. That position involved worldwide travel for conferences that took him to: Hawaii, UK/England, Canada, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Korea, China, and Japan.
Howard loved spending time with his great granddaughters who ADORED him; sitting on the porch during an AZ rain with our sweet pup Gigi; celebrating family birthdays with Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes; and eating popcorn and pasty. He enjoyed jogging and was an avid cyclist for many years. He loved planning great adventures connecting his brood to relatives across the US and Norway. He had traced his Norwegian ancestry back to the 1400’s. He continued enriching family bonds through correspondence, and cultivating connections with friends. He traveled the world for business and pleasure. He was a keen photographer and shot many super 8 movies.
Howard was also an original energy conservationist, a pilot, an avid reader and writer, a world traveler, a story teller, a listener (sometimes), a Norwegian club enthusiast, a ham radio operator, a trivia master, and a travel agent/host for his grandkids.
Howard is survived by his daughters Cindy St. Clair and Sharon Barikmo Hopper (David); grandson Justin (Telia); granddaughters Jill (Paul) and Melissa (Scott); great granddaughters Brooklynn, Kennedy & Kelsey Spillman and Adyson Mullenbach; brothers Rodney (Marilyn) and Jon (Carol); and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Elaine, parents Olav and Nora, and brother Norman.
Some of his favorite clothing choices were denim and had the color blue, feel free to be like him while joining his celebration of life at Messinger Indian School Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Rd, Scottsdale on Saturday, April 1st at 2:00pm. A reception will immediately follow at the mortuary hall.