Always in his heart. Ron Howard is quite the success story, but he knows he has plenty of loved ones to thank for that, including his father, Rance Howard, who passed away in 2017.

“My dad, #RanceHoward would’ve been 91 today. He passed just under 2 years ago and we sure miss him,” the director, 65, wrote via Instagram on Sunday, November 17. “He loved acting and writing, but being in westerns made him the happiest! Happy Birthday, Dad!”

The Happy Days alum also took the time to share another post of his father, this time sharing a family pic including his children. “He was a terrific character actor but an even better family man,” he wrote. Ron’s own daughter, Paige, responded to the lovely tribute, saying, “Love you so much Granddad.”

Plenty of fans rushed to the comments section to respond. “Sorry about the loss of your Dad. He’ll always be remembered in the hearts of those he cherished the most: his loving family,” one person said. Another added, “Sorry about your Dad. I’m sure he was an amazing person.”

Rance — who also had a son named Clint — died on November 17, 2017, from heart failure. At the time, Ron revealed the news on his Twitter. “Clint [and] I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. Today he passed at 89,” the Oscar winner wrote. “He stood especially tall [for] his ability to balance ambition [with] great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love [and] miss [you] Dad.”

Ron Howard Rance Howard
Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Today, Ron is a father to his own kids. He shares four children — Bryce, 38, Paige, Jocelyn, both 34, and Reed, 32 — with his wife, Cherry. All are extremely honored to also hold the Howard name, especially the pair’s eldest child.

“I feel very fortunate to come from my family and actually when I first started acting I was just ‘Bryce Dallas,’ and my parents one day asked me like ‘are you not proud of our family?’ And so yeah, I love my family,” the Jurassic World actress once admitted while at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6.

There is so much love in this family, and Rance had a lot to do with it!