Cozad Pharmacist: Howard M. McGinnis, age 79 (1933-2013)

Howard M. McGinnis, 79, of Cozad, Nebraska, died Sunday, March 17th, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska.

Howard was born May 20th, 1933, at Wisner, Nebraska, to Elmer and Mae (Miller) McGinnis. Following his graduation from Wisner High School he attended Wayne State College and later Kansas State.  Howard was drafted into the U.S. Army in the late 1950’s and following his discharge, he returned to Nebraska where he attended the University of Nebraska. On August 7th, 1960, Howard married Joell A. Henderson at Omaha, Nebraska. Two years later, he completed his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at UNL.

Howard began his career in pharmacy at Falls City, Nebraska and later Auburn, Nebraska. He always had a passion for his work in pharmacy and his passion culminated into his eventual purchase of Service Drug in October of 1972 in downtown Cozad. Under Howard’s direction, the store flourished and even expanded three different times over the years. In 2002, Howard proudly welcomed his son Paul to the business, and they worked side by side serving Cozad for the next 10 years.    

Howard was immensely proud to call Cozad his home and worked tirelessly to make a difference. He had served on the Cozad Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, several chamber committees, the Cozad Hospital Board, the Cozad Housing Authority Board for over 35 years and a multitude of other church and civic related boards.  Howard gave generously of his time and resources toward the betterment of his community, but always sought to curtail the recognition of his efforts. He was the patriarch of his family and a steady presence in his community. For his many friends and loved ones, Howard’s passing marks the falling of a ‘grand old oak.’

Howard loved to play bridge, golf and spend time in his yard. Over the years, Howard and Joell transformed their backyard into a sort of sanctuary that they came to enjoy regularly. They loved to spend time on the deck, cooking and socializing. Their outdoor space even became the venue for a family wedding. As all proud grandparents do, Howard also cherished the time he spent with his grandkids and family.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Scott Luther McGinnis.

Survivors include his wife, Joell McGinnis of Cozad; son, Paul (Lori) McGinnis of Cozad; two daughters, Sarah Henderson McGinnis of Denver, Colorado, Amy (Jeff) Henderson Swartz of Olathe, Kansas; three grandchildren, Adam, Margaret and Aiden; brother, Jim (Bonnie) McGinnis of Spearfish, South Dakota; sister, Sally Chisholm of Lincoln, Nebraska and a host of friends.

Visitation will be on Thursday, March 21st from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad.

Services will be held on Friday, March 22nd, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church.

Burial will be in the Cozad Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

Condolences may be shared at


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