Dr. G. Edna Howard passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on May 27, 2015, at her son’s home in Vineland, New Jersey. She was 85 years old. Edna was associate professor of education and division chair of the education and recreation department at Houghton College from 1988 to 1996, and, after her retirement, she worked for the New York State Education Department in area schools.
Dr. Howard committed her entire professional career to education and served as both teacher and administrator in public and private schools: elementary teacher (grades 1-2); elementary school principal; middle and high school English teacher (grades 7-12); high school assistant principal, assistant director of Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador; college professor; college division chair and school board president.
Teaching students and guiding young teachers to their highest level of performance was a constant goal for Edna’s educational career, and her expectations for students were high. In her words, a good student “is a self-starter (motivated), accepts responsibility and sets high standards” for him or herself. She found many such students during her eight years at Houghton, and her impact on their teaching careers can still be felt today. “Despite all the changes in education during my 20-year career,” states former student Joy David-Gompah ’94, “I still write my learning objectives the way I learned from Dr. Howard.” In her retirement citation in 1996, President Daniel R. Chamberlain thanked Edna for her “zestful Christian caring and professional competence.”
As an active member of the Belfast, New York, community for 25 years, Edna served on the Belfast Board of Education and was the chair of the Allegany County Services Board for 16 years. Dr. Cathy Freytag, Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Education and Physical Education, enjoyed working with Edna for several years on the Allegany County Community Services Board. “I found her to be a delightful, energetic woman who was always looking for the needs and interests of others,” recalls Freytag.
She is survived by her husband, former counseling staff member, Dale Howard; six sons, Mike, Paul, Ron, Joseph, Nathan and Chris; 20 grandchildren including Caleb M. Howard ’04 and Joel D. Howard ’06; 11 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Margery Webber; and a host of friends from many churches and schools from many states.