M. Lavern Howell, known as “Mama Howell” passed away August 2, 2016 at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri, at the age of 82 years, and 8 months. She had declining health for the past several years. She was born December 2, 1933 in Oregon County, Missouri, the daughter of John Huston and Pearl Holloway Brazeal.
Most importantly, Mama Howell loved her Savior, Jesus, her King, and had been His faithful and diligent servant since 1950, when at age 17 she gave Him her life and was called into the ministry. She preached numerous revivals, and she and Daddy pastored Stony Point Church, Koshkonong, Missouri for many years and hundreds were saved as a result of their ministry. She played the guitar and sang and would preach anywhere she was asked, including several brush arbor meetings in the 1950’s. When she was only 13, she met the love of her life, Vernon Howell, but did not date him until she was 18. She kept her eye on him for 5 years, then in December, 1951 she began a 7 year courtship with him, and on December 25, 1958 was united in marriage to him in Springfield, Missouri. Two of mother’s highest callings were being a faithful, devoted wife, and a Godly, loving mother. She loved her husband and children more than anything besides her Lord, who was always first in her life. She never worked outside the home, but was faithful to pinch pennies and do anything she could so that she was always home with her children. She was of the Pentecostal faith and Mama is known throughout this area for her strict standards, and straight living. She loved to wear long, colorful dresses, jackets and shoes to match, and her “bee hive” hairdos. One of Mama’s greatest pleasures was accompanying her family, The Howell Family, to Gospel concerts in churches across the land the past 34 years. If she could possibly go, she would not miss a singing. She would sometimes be one of the very first to board the old bus to take off for another singing, no matter how tired. She never failed to thank God for each of her children accepting Jesus as their personal Savior and having a desire to work for her King.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Huse and Pearl Brazeal; and eight sisters, Ruby Brazeal, Neoma Phipps, Edith Roe, infant Margaret Brazeal, Eva Cameron, Cordelia Phipps, Grace McKeel and Mildred Forester.
Lavern is survived by her husband, Vernon, of the home; and 5 children, Martha Tuttle, husband Roger, of West Plains, Missouri, Miriam LeGrand, husband Fred, of Viola, Arkansas, Daniel Howell, wife Tammy, of Thayer, Missouri, Elisabeth DeShane, husband Kenn, of Xi’an, China, and David Howell, wife Rhonda, of West Plains, Missouri; 5 grandchildren, Katelyn Howell, Chloe Howell, Madelyn DeShane, Dawson Howell, and Caleb DeShane; 1 step grandson, Matthew Franks, many nieces and nephews and numerous loving relatives and friends.
Mama’s last months were spent with Dad Howell and the loving, caring staff of Shady Oaks Nursing Center in Thayer. She was very appreciative of her care, and made many friends and lasting relationships in her short time there. Mama would speak of praying with the staff at the facility during their times of crises, and had made it known to staff that her and Daddy’s room was an open prayer room at any time staff or fellow residents needed it. On occasion she would sing, and the hall would quickly fill up to hear Mama’s voice ring out.
If we could speak Mama’s final words and wishes today, it would be that each of you would find Jesus, give your life to Him and meet her in heaven. Of special note, the last prayer noted on Mama’s lips, was, “Jesus keep Daddy.”
Funeral Services for Mrs. Howell will be held Friday, August 5, 2016, at 2:00 PM at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri with Brother Frank Rogers, Brother Winfred Franks and Brother Junior Andrews officiating. Burial will follow in the Walker Cemetery near Thayer with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home in Thayer.
The family will receive friends on Thursday evening August 4, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer.