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Pfaff Remembered

Print Date: 7/24/2024 8:48:10 PM




The National Board recently learned of the February 24 death of retired South Dakota Chief Boiler Inspector Howard D. Pfaff. He was 79 years old.

Born in Huntley, Wyoming, Mr. Pfaff enlisted in the United States Navy after high school in 1953 and served as a Chief Boiler Technician on Navy vessels in Vietnam.  The 20-year Navy veteran returned to the states in 1969 and spent the later portion of his military career as a Navy instructor at the Great Lakes Training and Recruit Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Retiring from the Navy in 1973, the Wyoming native began his post-Navy experience with a fourteen-year career in the insurance industry. He subsequently worked nine years as a boiler operator at a steam plant. In 1992, he was approached by South Dakota to perform part-time inspection work as a private contractor. Following the death of then chief inspector Jerry Anderson in 2000, Mr. Pfaff assumed chief inspector duties as a private contractor. During this time, he oversaw more than 8,500 South Dakota boilers, 2,400 of which were his direct responsibility.

“Howard Pfaff was a great guy who had a smile for everyone,” offered National Board Executive Director David Douin. “We at the National Board were privileged to work with such a dedicated and experienced professional.  We extend our sincerest condolences to his family and many friends.”

Mr. Pfaff is preceded in death by his parents, infant son, three brothers, and a sister. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Edie, a daughter and her husband, a son and his wife, and four grandsons.