Dear USAWA community,
I am Howard’s grandson and I would like to thank all of you that have recognized Howard’s achievements throughout the years. His life was weightlifting. A man on a mission with 110% dedication. It was very difficult to talk to Howard without mentioning something about lifting. Howard was injured in WWII on the island of Iwo Jima and started exercising while in the hospital recovering doing repetitions with a broom stick. As you can see he went from lifting a broom stick to breaking many world records. When I was 15 years old, he said, “son if you want to be the best, you have to believe that you’re the best and work harder than every other sob out there. No one is going to give you anything. You’re going to have to sweat for it.” I am 49 years old now, and while visiting him in the nursing home in Cleveland in 2008 he told me the same thing again. He also added, “How is your lifting going”? I said, “Granddaddy, all you ever talk about is weightlifting.” He said, “I have forgot about alot of things in life, but I never forgot how to lift weights.”
At 85, he was determined to get back into competition and back into heavy lifting. He said, “I have to get the hell out of here. I have to get to the gym, gotta grab some heavy stuff.” I said, “you really need to slow down.” He said, “that’s the problem, I don’t have time to slow down.” He was still trying to exercise in the nursing home although the staff was not too happy about him bringing weights into the home for obvious reasons.
Again, thank you all so much for your support. I know that Howard was so proud of this organization and what you have achieved. When you think about winning competitions, breaking records, or just being the very best at your skill, you better think about Howard. He gave everything he had to the very end!!
Melvin Lynn Cooler