Howard Matlock Toms, 85, of rural Independence, died at his home on December 27, 2008.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he was the eldest of ten children of Cedric D. and Annabelle Matlock Toms. After graduation from Northeast High School, Howard attended Kansas City Junior College and Finley School of Engineering. He was employed by Remington Arms at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant for 35 years until his retirement in 1985.

 At Lake City, Howard met Marian L. Van Tuyl; they married in 1946 at Atherton, Mo. They were the parents of seven children, all of whom reside in Independence. Marian L. Toms died in October 1986. Howard married Velma Curtis, widow of Nephi Curtis, in Independence in May 1993. Velma Toms died in June 1998. Howard was a Deacon and long-time member at the old Spring Branch R.L.D.S. church in Independence. In recent years, he attended the Community of Christ congregation in Raytown. He enjoyed travel, reading, music, and helping family and friends in any way he could.

Howard is survived by a host of friends and family, including: dear friend and traveling companion, Norma Storms, of Raytown; sons Lynn A. Toms, Gary R. Toms, and Kevin L. Toms; daughters Laura E. King, Sharon M. Toms, Lucie D. Singh, and Diane R. Toms; grandsons Roger L. Toms, Ron L. Toms, Paul D. K. Toms, Cedric Chowdhury, Ryan M. M. King, and granddaughter, Simaran Singh, five great-grandsons, three step-great-grandsons, and one great-granddaughter; also two stepsons, three stepdaughters, and their respective families.

 Also surviving are five brothers, Merrill F. Toms, Warren R. Toms, Dale R. Toms, John L. Toms, and Kyle M. Toms; one sister, Clyda Lange; two sisters-in-law, Verna Toms and Sally Toms; and six nieces, six nephews, and their families. Two brothers, Gerald Toms and Ronald Toms, preceded him in death; another brother, Lloyd Toms, died in infancy.

Services will be held at New Salem Funeral Home in Independence on Friday, January 2. Visitation will be from 1:00–3:00PM, with the funeral service following at 3:00PM. Burial will be private, in Old Salem Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Crossroads Hospice, 9237 Ward Pkwy., Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64114.