1927 – 2016

NEW VINEYARD — Marjorie Jean (Heath) Howard, 88, went home with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, July 5, following a wonderful family 4th of July celebration held at the family camp in Brooksville.

Marjorie was born on Dec. 12, 1927, in New Vineyard, the fifth of eight children born to Everett Ruel Heath and Anna Susan (Brackett) Heath. She lived in New Vineyard all of her life on the same property as her mother and grandmother. She attended the local two-room schoolhouse, graduated from eighth grade at Roosevelt Grammar School, and then attended high school in Rangeley.

She held her first job at age 12, caring for two small children. This was the only job she held outside of her home. The remainder of her life was dedicated to caring for her husband and raising her family which was considered to be her greatest accomplishment. In the winter of 1943, while sledding on the hill where she lived her entire life, she met the love of her life, and on April 26, 1946, in Castine, she married Raymond W. Howard of Brooksville. Married for 55 years, together they raised seven children, in her own words “each one a Godsend; I could not imagine life without even one of them.”

Family was her priority. Because of her dedication as a wife and mother, her children always felt a sense of comfort and security. However, life was not easy raising a family of seven children. Her commitment to the task never faltered. Home-cooked meals were prepared three times daily and shared around the table. She especially enjoyed baking pies, keeping the cookie jar full and making dairy butter from the family cow. She took great pride in canning and preserving foods from the garden. Having properly-hung laundry on the clothesline was important to her. Also of importance to her was making certain that all of her children received a good spiritual education, sending each one of them off to Sunday school each week. All of her time was spent with and caring for her family. She had a make-do-with-what-you have attitude. ”We were far from rich, but what we didn’t have, we didn’t miss. I had a good life.” Her hardworking hands will never be forgotten.

She had a true love for music and especially enjoyed listening to her children sing on various occasions. How quickly she could complete the daily newspaper crossword puzzle was a marvel. She found such pleasure at camp located at the family homestead in Brooksville where family members gathered especially every 4th of July to eat lobster, dig clams, play kickball and catch up on family news. She also looked forward to Heath family reunions which were held on the Heath family homestead in Madrid. With a renewed enthusiasm, she began attending the Gospel Light Baptist Church of New Vineyard in 2015, rarely missing a Sunday service.

Marjorie is survived by her children, Keith Howard of Carthage, Linda Howard of Solon, Susan Lisherness and husband, Jonathan, of Phillips, Judy Smith and husband, Leslie, of East Dixfield; 19 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Raymond Howard in 2001; her son, Jerry Howard in 2005; her daughter, Dinah Kidd in 2015; her daughter, Sandra Bestwick in February 2016; her grandson, Michael Kidd in 2005; and her granddaughter, Christie Withee in 1971.

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