Obituary for Lena Howard
LENA L. HOWARD
She loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with all of her heart. So it was with peace that this gentle spirit, Lena L. Howard, 99, went to be with her Lord on August 25, 2017, at Pendry Estate in Eustis, Florida. With her last few breaths, she whispered, “God is good.”
Lena was born in Jackson, Kentucky, on June 19, 1918 to Lena Bowman LeMaster and Henry Washington LeMaster. Her teenage years were lived in another small town in Eastern Kentucky, Harlan, where she graduated from high school as class valedictorian, having finished high school in just three years instead of four. She went on to graduate from Bowling Green Business University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. And in 1941, she married her one and only sweetheart, Tonie Howard, in Harlan, Kentucky. Tonie died July 1, 1986, just a little over a month short of what would have been their 45th wedding anniversary. It had been a marriage filled with love and
respect. Lena and Tonie first moved to Florida from Kentucky in 1954 and bought a home in Sylvan Shores in Mount Dora, where they joined the First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora. In later years, it was a rare Sunday morning that Lena could not be found there at the 8:00 service, third pew from the back on the left side.
People were struck with Lena’s physical beauty, crowned by a head of short, curly, snow-white hair, but her petite body and outer beauty paled in comparison to her inner goodness and steely strength and determination. For years she was involved with the Prayer Team at her church. People who were not even members of the church called her with prayer requests, knowing that she would not only care about their concerns, but also be persistent in her prayers. She even made her own rolodex of prayer requests and would note the progress on each one. When the rolodex became quite large, she would pray for people by sections. And, if Lena said she would pray for you, she did, on her knees, up until it became physically impossible for her to lift herself from a kneeling position. After her husband, Tonie, died, she was meticulous about keeping her check book up dated, spending hours if necessary to balance it down to the penny.
And her check book also revealed her generosity of spirit. Lena loved to give as well as to do thoughtful things for others. One of her joys was baking. She had cookie molds for everything from Christmas to Halloween and Thanksgiving. At one point there were 70 people on her Christmas cookie delivery list. For men who picked up her garbage there was usually a treat attached for them, at least once a week. When Lena’s mother died in 1968 and left her a very modest inheritance, rather than keep if for herself, she gifted the principal to the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise, Florida. In addition to being involved in her church, Lena also served on the Hospital Ladies Auxiliary in Kentucky; and in Mount Dora, she served at one time on the board of the Lake County Health and Tuberculosis Association, the Mount Dora Easter Seals Committee, and was a member of PEO. To understand Lena, Colossians 3:12-17 best sums up how she tried to live her life: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Precious Lena is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William B. Kiesewetter, Jr. (Jayne and Bill) of Wellington, Florida as well as a host of remarkably loyal, loving family and friends. To make a contribution in lieu of flowers, Lena would be proud to have contributions made to her beloved church, the First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora, 440 E. 6th Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida, 32757.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Lena at the First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora on Saturday, September 9th, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., followed by a reception in Friendship Hall.
Allen J Harden Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.