In Memory

Sister M. Evelyn Howard, IHM

June 26, 1928 – August 13, 2017

Evelyn Howard, IHM

Sister M. Evelyn Howard, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on June 26, 1928, in Johnson City, NY, and given the name Catherine Lucille. She was the daughter of the late John and Mary Will Howard. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1947, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1950, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1953.

Sister Evelyn served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Agnes Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1950 to 1954; Mother of Mercy Elementary School in Washington, NC, from 1954 to 1961; St. Thomas Elementary School in Coeur d’Alene, ID, from 1961 to 1963; St. John Elementary School in Susquehanna, PA, from 1963 to 1965; St. Matthew Elementary School in Wilmington, DE, from 1965 to 1970 and 1980 to 1984; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1970 to 1975; Sacred Heart Elementary School in Jermyn, PA, from 1975 to 1976; Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1976 to 1980; St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1984 to 1991; and St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY, from 1996 to 2007.

Sister also served as a library assistant at Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1991 to 1996.

From 2008 until the time of her death, Sister Evelyn was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in education, and a Master of Science degree in English, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by a brother, John, and five sisters, Lois, Rita, Juanita Leighton, Mary Scott, and Betty Wasser.

She is survived by a sister, Elaine Dusold of Cary, NC, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, August 16, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Tuesday, August 15, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Wednesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.



Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Winter 2017 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Evelyn Howard, Funeral 8/16/17

Good afternoon. We gather in prayer today to celebrate the life of Sister Evelyn. I want to welcome her nieces, Debra, Erin, and Bev, her nephew, David and his wife, Sandy, and nephew, Gary and his wife, Pat, other family members, especially her sister Elaine’s family in North Carolina and all those who join us via livestream.

I want to thank very specially Monsignor John Jordan for being with us to celebrate our liturgy. John is a great friend of the IHMs and we’re very grateful for his presence here today.

We hold in our prayer, too, Sisters Jean, Mary Kay, and Eleanor Mary, the administrators here at Our Lady of Peace, and all the sisters and staff here who gave such wonderful care and support to Evelyn, especially the sisters in 3B, her housemates.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and who have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving… [kindness]. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Anyone who has had the privilege of knowing Evelyn can attest that these words of Elizabeth Kubler Ross describe her well. She was truly a beautiful person. When I received the call last Sunday that she had died, I, like many of you, was caught off guard. I knew she had been failing, so I wondered why the news was such a shock. The answer for me was because of her incredible spirit – she was a person who was so alive in spirit all the time. She radiated joy and kindness to those she met – even very early in the morning when she would cheerily sing out her greeting to her sisters in 3B as they groped their way down the hall to their first cup of coffee, as Eleanor recounted at the wake service yesterday. She would often sing rather than recite her daily prayers in her room. I’m sure she accumulated frequent flyer miles in her jazzy because she made it a point to be present at almost every gathering or event held here for the sisters. She loved to read – she had enough books in her room to start a mini-library, I think – and she shared that love by reading to sisters here who were no longer able to read themselves. She reveled in the beauty of nature, and made frequent trips outside around the building to enjoy the sights and sounds. She just immersed herself in life and wasn’t content to let life pass her by.

What was the secret to Evelyn’s positive outlook? I believe it was simply that she was a person of deep faith. That faith enabled her to view life with understanding and humor and to accept others for who they were. She approached life through the lens of a rock-solid trust in the God who led her along the ups and downs of life’s path and she made the choice to have fun along that journey. She walked among us with gentleness of spirit and graciousness of heart and touched countless hearts and lives, as we heard at yesterday’s wake service. She ministered as a teacher in schools in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Idaho, Delaware, New York, and Maryland, and most recently as a prayer minister here at Our Lady of Peace. She was a teacher’s teacher who engendered in her students a sense of self-worth and love of learning. Her outreach extended beyond her students, whom she dearly loved, to parents and parishioners who knew her as a prayerful, caring companion on their spiritual journey. Her unselfishness, humor and welcoming smile brightened their and our days and lifted our spirits and her kindness taught us of God’s incredible love for us. Her niece, will now place the scriptures on Evelyn’s casket, for Evelyn heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full . . . the Word now beckons her home.

Evelyn’s deep faith and character were nurtured from birth by her family. As we give thanks today for her life, we remember her family members who now welcome her into God’s loving embrace, especially her parents, Mary and John, her sisters, Lois, Rita, Juanita, Mary, and Betty, and her brother, John. We ask our God of all comfort to support Evelyn’s sister, Elaine, her cherished nieces and nephews and their families, her IHM sisters, the administrators and staff here at OLP, and all who were part of her journey here on earth.

Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner wrote, “If you want to be holy, be kind.” Evelyn was surely a graced gift of holiness for all of us. She raised our spirits, cheered our hearts, and inspired us to trust God’s love. May she sing forever in the fullness of God’s eternal light and love, and may she now intercede for us in heaven.

Her niece, will now place the scriptures on Evelyn’s casket, for Evelyn heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the
full . . . the Word now beckons her home..

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