This final post on his Facebook page is a fitting tribute to the passion he had for his work:
Some days it is more difficult being a writer than others. Some days the words won't come, or the ones that do just suck. Or maybe sales take a dump or somebody leaves a you bad review. Maybe the sound of your author "voice" sounds like nails on a chalkboard. But we need those days...because it is in times like that you either "hold 'em or fold 'em." It's when you grow, and know that, "Yeah, this is my passion, what I was meant to be."
Rest well, Howard. You will be missed, but your work will continue to be tribute to your life and passion.
Addendum (1/16/12): The official obituary is posted online now.