Howard Neil Schlechte, 78, of Strasburg, Illinois, died Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, Illinois. Howard was born on February 29, 1932, in Strasburg, Illinois, the son of Edgar Frederick and Mary Isabelle Blake Schlechte. He graduated from Southern Illinois University and served in various positions over 50 years. At present, he was Executive Vice President of the SIU Alumni Association and also a member of the CASA Board. Howard served in the U.S. Air Force and Illinois Air National Guard from 1952-1979, retiring as a Colonel. He worked at IBM Corporation from 1958 to 1991, and held various technical and Management positions, retiring as Field Engineering Branch Manager in Jefferson City, Missouri. Howard was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shelby Memorial Hospital and also a member of the Shelby Memorial Hospital Foundation Board. He was a member and an Elder of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Strasburg. Howard loved traveling, reading, golf and boating. He married Ina Merle Irland on September 3, 1982, in St. Louis, Mo. He is survived by his wife, Ina Merle Schlechte; daughters, Jan Ella Pell and husband Robert of Brazil, Ind. and Penny Marie Schlechte of Findlay, Ill.; brother, Arnold Schlechte and wife Lena of Murray, Neb.; brother-in-law, Gerald Sporleder of Mattoon, Ill.; and nieces and nephews, Sue Sachs of Orlando, Fla., Christine Wheeler of Manhattan, Kan., Bob Sporleder, Ron Sporleder and Gary Sporleder all of Strasburg and Darrell Lynn Sporleder of Stewardson. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Doris Sporleder. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, May 8, 2010, in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Strasburg with Rev. Steven Becker officiating. Visitation will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Friday at the church. Burial will be in St. Paul's Cemetery, Strasburg with military rites. Memorials may be given to Strasburg Community Improvement Fund, c/o Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, 415 N. Broadway, Shelbyville, IL 62565.