Dorothy Pauline Howard, 97, was taken home by our Lord and passed into eternal life Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Born April 4, 1923, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Pauline was the beloved daughter of Steve and Lillian Condos. Entrusted with the arrangements is Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.
Pauline started school at age 4 in a one-room school on the edge of Cedar Rapids, and later advanced to Tyler School and McKinley Senior High, graduating as a member of the National Honor Society one month after turning 17. Shortly after high school graduation, Pauline enrolled at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, where she excelled. She had fond memories of her studies in Des Moines, the friends she made, and staying with her beloved uncle Theodore "T." After graduation, Pauline returned to Cedar Rapids. She was unable to find office employment in the pre-World War II economy, and instead began working as a switchboard operator at Bell Telephone.
On April 7, 1941, Pauline and her high school sweetheart, John W. Howard, were united in marriage in Alexandria, La., where John was stationed with the Iowa National Guard at Camp Claiborne participating in the Louisiana Maneuvers. After giving birth to their first child, John W. Jr., Pauline went to work at Century Engineering as a "Rosie the Riveter," making bomb parts for the war effort. Their second child, Louwanna May, was born in the spring of 1945. Following the end of World War II, Pauline started working as a secretary at Collins Radio in the downtown Cherry Building. She continued at Collins Radio through the early 1950s, until shortly after her second daughter, Pamela Sue, was born.
Pauline spent the next 20 years raising her children and working in her home and gardens. She enjoyed growing beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, fruit trees and a vineyard on her acreage. She regularly filled her pantry and freezer with canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. Pauline loved her many spring flowering trees and shrubs, particularly her huge magnolia tree and flowering crab trees, lilacs and peonies; and her summer flowers and the monarchs and goldfinches they attracted. In later years, she loved sitting on her back deck, enjoying the flowers and butterflies and listening to the birds, which she fed all winter.
Pauline loved family vacations, whether sightseeing across the country, from California to New York, or just relaxing on family camping and fishing trips. On many spring days, she enjoyed fishing with her husband in their boat on Lake Macbride. She particularly enjoyed beautiful scenery like the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park and Appalachia. Pauline experienced the thrill of her life at age 81, when she traveled with her three adult children to the birthplace of her father, in a tiny village in the Peloponnesus in southern Greece. Together, they spent a month driving throughout Greece visiting relatives, ancient ruins, mountain villages, cities and tiny island ports.
Pauline enjoyed baking, particularly the pies and cakes she baked weekly when the children were home. She was an excellent cook, preparing huge holiday feasts for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of her specialties were the Greek dishes her father taught her to make.
At a young age, Pauline assumed the role of caregiver for her disabled father, which continued for a number of
years. During that time, she also cared for her elderly mother and stepfather, at one point caring for three people in her home at once. Later, Pauline also cared for her husband, who died of cancer at their home in 1994 after 53 years of marriage. After her children were grown, Pauline worked in the food service department at St. Luke's Hospital for more than 10 years. She enjoyed the friends she made there and all the diverse people she met.
Pauline became a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids in 1994. She had studied the Bible most of her life and felt most at home at St. Paul's. She became a member of the Family Fellowship and thoroughly enjoyed their Sunday morning classes and socialization. Pauline also became a member of the United Methodist Women and enjoyed attending the Dorcas Circle meetings for many years and then the Anna-Naomi Circle. She volunteered at the St. Paul's summer neighborhood meals program for many years and the St. Paul's thrift marts.
After her retirement, Pauline volunteered at the First Presbyterian Church food bank for over 10 years and found that service very rewarding. She also enjoyed symphony concerts, big band performances and Greek festivals. She loved the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and the lighthouses in Door County, Wis. Pauline stayed active and traveled until late October, at age 97.
Throughout her life, Pauline had dog companions of all types and sizes. Three of her favorites were the little dachshund she had as a young girl, Dukie, and her last two dogs, toy poodles Peggy and Mitzi.
Pauline's family was her pride and joy. She cherished time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She faithfully attended, rain or shine, all of their school performances and games, awards ceremonies, and graduations. She had a brilliant, sharp mind to the end. She was always eager to learn and particularly enjoyed discussing and debating politics. She instilled in her children and grandchildren a desire to further their education, to learn and to improve and to be happy in whatever profession they choose and wherever it takes them.
In addition to her husband, Pauline was preceded in death by two brothers, Raymond Davis and Lloyd Davis; and a sister, Velma Burger.
Pauline courageously battled heart problems and throat cancer throughout her last three months of life. She was a symbol of bravery, grit and determination. She was a great source of strength for her family and will be dearly missed by all. She was loved more than words could ever express.
Pauline is survived by a son, John W. Howard Jr. and wife, Margene; a daughter, Louwanna Morris and husband, Edward; a daughter, Pamela Shafer and husband, Scott; grandchildren, Steve Morris (Rene), Matt Morris (Erin), David Shafer (Barry Randall), Dr. Tamara Woods (Alex), Brandon Howard, Danyal Morris (Brady) and Patrice McMahan (Charles); great-grandchildren, including Johnathan and Jessica Morris, Lincoln Morris and Amelia and Leonidas Woods; as well as several cousins and many nieces and nephews.
Pauline's family would like to thank the entire staff at the Mercy Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their kind, compassionate, professional care, and the Palliative Care team and chaplains at Mercy Hospital. You were all such a strength and a blessing.
Private services and interment will be held for immediate family at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. A livestream of the funeral service may be accessed on the funeral home website under the obituary for Pauline Howard, under the video tab, starting at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. A Celebration of Life service for friends and extended family will be held at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories at a later date to be determined.
Pauline was a faithful supporter of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for many years. You may make a donation in her memory at www.stjude.org/donate. Online condolences and messages may be shared with the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.