Howard George Rockett passed away on September 19, 2018 in Southern Pines. Howard was born on September 23, 1937 in Philadelphia, PA and was educated at The Episcopal Academy and The University of Pennsylvania. Howard excelled at many things including music, sports and business. In college, he played soccer and was an All-Ivy League striker and one of the league's top scorers. After college, he played semi-professional soccer in Philadelphia for the Uhrik Truckers. In his 30s, Howard began playing golf and was a scratch golfer within a few short years. Musically, Howard was a masterful piano player and played with several bands including the Royal Carolina Dixieland Jazz Band and a local group called The Salty Dogs. Throughout his life, his love for music and golf was contagious and he shared those gifts with everyone lucky enough to have known him. Howard was also active in the community of Alcoholics Anonymous and helped thousands of people recover from the disease.

Along with these passions, Howard was a gifted entrepreneur and incredibly successful in business, working in the advertising industry his entire career. He was a founding partner of McKinney, Silver & Rockett, which grew to become one of the most successful advertising agencies outside of New York. Howard's work at the Agency included Piedmont Airlines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, NationsBank, and North Carolina Tourism. He sold his interest in the Agency in 1983, but his 'retirement' was short-lived. In 1985, Howard founded another incredibly successful Agency which began as Rockett & Burkhead and became better known as RBW Advertising. RBW grew rapidly, and in less than ten years was the largest independently owned marketing agency in the South, working with clients GlaxoSmithKline, Carolina Hurricanes, Golden Corral, Rich-SeaPak, Quintiles, IBM, Volvo Trucks, Campbell Soup, Dollar Tree, CORT Furniture Rental, Marvel Entertainment, Eaton Corporation, and many scores of smaller companies.

Howard was known internationally as a strategic creative person with expertise in positioning, branding and differentiation discovery. He has been recognized in scores of branding and communications reviews worldwide, including the One Show in New York and the International Awards Festival in London. One of the best examples of his work was the GlaxoSmithKline corporate communications positioning "On the Brink of Discovery" in 1996, along with the resulting global communications advertising and marketing executions. This program was widely credited with changing the strategic communications direction of the entire pharmaceutical industry from manufacturing/product to research/discovery. In April 2000, Howard was inducted into the Communications Hall of Fame at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

In 1994, Howard married Michele Sleva and together they shared a life full of love. They shared many beautiful memories splitting their time between their homes at The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst and their home in Marathon in the Florida Keys. Howard was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus and was a member of the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Southern Pines, NC.

Howard will be missed greatly. He is survived by his wife Michele (and their three loving dogs), his four children, Kimberly Rockett Stewart, Dr. Alyson Rockett, Scott Howard Rockett (and his wife Carol), and Mark George Rockett (and his wife Genevieve). Howard also leaves behind the mother of his children, Janice Peltz Rockett, and eight loving grandchildren, Kim's daughter Rebecca Stewart, Alyson's children Alec and Olivia Brown, Scott's children Anna and Scotty, and Mark's children Madi, George and Kyle.

There will be a visitation Sunday, September 23rd from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Boles Funeral Home located at 425 West Pennsylvania Avenue in Southern Pines, NC.

Funeral Mass will be held Monday, September 24th at 10:00 AM at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church located at 160 East Vermont Avenue in Southern Pines, NC. Immediately following the funeral, there will be an internment service at the gravesite in the church's cemetery.

Following the service, beginning at Noon, there will be a reception at The Country Club of North Carolina located at 1600 Morganton Road in Pinehurst, NC.

Memorial donations can be made to Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Assembly 2069, P.O. Box 1492, Southern Pines, NC, 28388.

Online condolences may be made at

Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family. Published in The News & Observer on Sept. 23, 2018