By Darrell L. Castle
Member of the Constitution Party Executive Committee
2008 Constitution Party Vice-Presidential Candidate
Howard Phillips, founder of the Constitution Party, died at 3:50 PM, EST Saturday, April 20, 2013.
I met Howard in early 1992 when I was introduced to him by Don McIlvaney. Don asked my choice for the election that year and I said neither so he introduced me to Howard who was trying to start a new party. My wife, Joan and I became the Tennessee delegates to the first national convention.
Over time, Howard mentored me in politics and became a political father to me. Little by little he brought me along as I was able to accept more and more responsibility. Most of all he was my dear friend and I’ll miss him.
Howard enabled Joan and me to serve in the great cause of liberty and in the struggle for the soul of America. It will not be the same without his advice, wise counsel, and his eloquent speaker’s voice at every meeting. Listening to Howard’s stories and jokes were the highlights of every CP meeting. He knew so many different people in government that he could entertain endlessly with stories from his past. Howard had a great sense of humor and always appreciated a good joke. He loved theater, movies, and his family and never tired of talking about his children’s accomplishments. He never failed to inquire about family members not present and was intensely loyal and expected the same in return. He was always loyal to me and I like to think I was the same for him.
I remember Howard as being the best at speaking in front of a camera or just in front of a group. He had a matchless gift for the English language and was merciless as an editor. I learned a lot from him in that regard.
Howard Phillips was a lot more than I have been able to say with these few words. In the words of his son Doug he was the most principled and courageous statesman of his generation. He inspired many thousands of people with his courageous fight for liberty. He was a larger than life figure whose intellect towered over most of us.
I am honored to have known Howard and to have called him friend and brother. We were brothers in the fight for liberty and for western civilization, and we were brothers in Christ.
Rest in peace, Howard.
The vice-chairman of the Constitution Party of New Jersey also released a statement:
Cal Wortman, Vice-Chairman of the CPNJ, writes…
My friend and mentor Howard Phillips passed away this past Saturday. Others will write of his accomplishments and his academic credentials, I prefer to share my memories of him. We met in 1995, right around this time of year when I was asked by my Pastor to pick Howard up at the airport, as he was scheduled to speak at our church that Lord’s Day. Having heard of my interest in politics from my Pastor, he began immediately recruiting me to head up his effort to gain ballot access in NYS. He was running for President on the U.S. Taxpayers ticket the following year and needed several thousand signatures of registered voters. I had never undertaken anything like this and was a little overwhelmed with the prospect. Because of my inexperience, we failed to gain ballot access but Howard was able to get the nomination of the Right to Life party and appear on the ballot in NY. As we were working on the campaign and Howard met with us, he once exclaimed “The future of western civilization rests on your shoulders” I’m certainly glad that wasn’t true. As a result of working on this campaign, I joined and became active in the party. Howard knew where all the skeletons were buried in the Republican party and it was a joy and an education to listen to him tell these stories. I would not be an activist today without having learned at the knee of this great man. The Constitution Party has semi-annual meetings at various locations around the country and I would always look forward to seeing Howard there. I spent many pleasant and informative hours listening to Howard and reading his publications. I remember a meeting we attended near Boston and Howard took a few of us on a tour of Boston in a van. Well, this was a wild ride, Howard knew the city well and took many shortcuts , some legal and some not so and we had lots of laughs and a great tour. He was the most principled man I ever met and I will miss him. He built the party and many good men and women are in place to carry on his legacy. I am blessed to have known him and the world has been enriched because he lived. Howard, I salute you and I will always remember and love you.