Florence May Howie was born August 22, 1939 in Herington, Kansas, daughter of Lee Roy and Anna (Ziebell) Hird. She grew up in the small railroad community of Herington and was a member of the local 4-H club.
On April 17, 1957, Florence was united in marriage with Fred Howie at Herington, Kansas. This union was blessed with six children: Fred Jr., DeAnna, Valerie, Shirley, Jon, and Nancy.
In 1963, Florence and Fred moved their family to Harper, Kansas. Florence worked as a bookkeeper for Town and Country Lumber for many years. She later worked as a cook and bus driver for USD #361. For over 30 years she also enjoyed selling Fuller Brush.
Florence was a very active and supportive mother and grandmother. As soon as each of her children were old enough she introduced them to 4-H. All six of their children were members of Sunnyside 4-H Club where Florence served as project and club leader for many years. Many of Florence's grandchildren have carried on the family tradition of participating in 4-H. Throughout the years, Florence has won many awards for her talents exhibited in her handiwork and baking skills. Through many years of participation she first enjoyed competing in baking against her daughters and later her grandkids. Florence was always the number one fan and cheerleader for all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She always followed all of their various activities. Florence also enjoyed many hobbies including genealogy, quilting, crocheting, knitting and reading.
Florence was a member of the Harper Presbyterian Church. A dedicated church member, she served as treasurer for many years, as well as President of the Harper Presbyterian Women's Circle. She also enjoyed being a member of the National Campers and Hikers Association, the local Meadowlark Camping Club, Square Dance Club, Harper County Women's Bowling Association, and also served as a Cub Scout Leader.
On May 9, 2020, Florence passed away at Anthony Community Care Center at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings: William Hird, Lawrence Hird and Ruth Diepenbrock; and one grandson, Dusty Joe McCartney.
Florence will be deeply missed by her husband, Fred Howie Sr. of Harper; children: Fred Howie Jr. and wife, Kay of Little River, KS, DeAnna Stevens and husband, Dean of Harper, Valerie Podschun and husband, Rick of Anthony, KS, Shirley Stark and husband, Mike of Harper, Jon Howie and wife, Kelli of Bee Cave, TX, and Nancy Hacker and husband, Danny of Harper; 25 grandchildren: Nicole (Mike) McQueen, Adrian (Kristen) Howie, Christopher (Kristi) Stevens, Erica (Shane) McGreevy, Brandon Stevens (Danielle Caylor), Adam (Virginia) Podschun, Aaron (Amy) Podschun, Ashley Podschun, Danny Ray (Sarah) McCartney, Scotty McCartney, Kenny McCartney, Vanessa Stark, Arabella Stark, Jesse Kerschen, Jordan (Knut) Brouwer, Amber Kerschen, Jamie (Andrew) Madl, Aspen Howie, Skyler Howie, Harley Hacker, Tamairla (Jason) Spencer, Kayla Guver, Eric McFarland, Allen Hacker, and Michael Hacker; 39 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Deloris Hird; and a host of other relatives and many friends.
A private family service will be held at the Harper Cemetery.
Friends and family may register and view from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Prairie Rose Funeral Home in Harper.
Memorials in memory of Florence may be made to Anthony Community Care Center or to Harper County 4-H Council and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, 613 W. 14th St., Harper, KS 67058. www.prairierosefuneralhomes.com