Margaret (Kelly) Howe

Birth: Jan. 6, 1920
Profession: Jul. 30 1947
Death: Nov. 1, 2009

Margaret Brayer Howe, RSCJ, 89 years, died at Teresian House on November 1, 2009.

Born January 6, 1920, in Rochester, New York, Margaret was the fourth of seven children, five girls and two boys, born to Henry B. Howe and Marie Howe (nee. Curran). Sister Howe grew up in Rochester and attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Prince Street, for twelve years, graduating in June, 1937.

In September, 1938, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood Convent in Albany, New York, and pronounced her final vows in July, 1947, at the Mother House in Rome. Margaret, known to her family and friends as Kelly, received a BA degree in english from Manhattanville College. Through the years, she participated in Integrated Day Workshops and Religious Studies Programs to enhance her knowledge and skills in teaching elementary school children.

Sister Howe began her teaching ministry at Kenwood Academy in Albany in 1941 and for the next fifty-plus years taught english and religion classes in Sacred Heart schools in Newton, Massachusetts; Providence and Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Washington, DC; and Houston, Texas. Within this time, she also served as Assistant Superior for ten years.

In everything she did, Sister Howe generously shared her gifts, her talents, her unwavering faith, her spirituality and her love. She was gentle, knowledgeable and kind, but she could also be firm. She saw the good in those around her and had a unique ability to bring out the best in others, especially her students. In referring to this ability, a colleague said of her: “Sister Howe had a beautiful reading voice, and under her tutelage even the quietest children read aloud with meaning, in a sure and measured cadence.” After retiring from the classroom, her educational work continued as she served as assistant librarian.

In 2001, when Sister Howe left Duchesne Academy in Houston to live in retirement at Kenwood, the Lower Elementary School students planted a pine tree in her honor. Its healthy growth continues as a symbol of the life and legacy of this gifted and loving educator who gave so much to her students.

Sister Howe brought her prayer-filled spirit and her gentle kindness to life in the Kenwood Community, and in January, 2007, joined the RSCJ at Teresian House. In recent months, her health declined, and on Sunday morning, November 1, she died peacefully and gently. Throughout her life, her close-knit and loving family was a source of strength, happiness, delight and comfort to her.

Sister Howe is survived by her sisters: Madeline Howe RSCJ, of Albany; Mrs. Louis A. Whalen, Jr. (Marie) and Mrs. Edward W. Mangan (Nancy) of Rochester; and her brother Robert T. Howe of Rochester; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Teresian House Chapel on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM. Interment will be in the Kenwood Convent Cemetery.