Margaret Elizabeth ("Lib") Howard of Harlan passed away at her home on Friday, January 7, 2022 at the age of 97.
She was born on December 9,1924, in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, to the late McKinley and Lena Giles Duncan. While her growing up years were divided between Oliver Springs, TN and Harlan, KY (with a wartime stint spent in Detroit as a riveter in an airplane factory), Harlan was where she and her beloved husband of 72 years, Harold Howard, chose to live, work, and raise their children. She was a Christian and a long time member of Baxter Methodist Church, and her faith in God sustained her to the end.
Lib had a strong work ethic, and served faithfully in various roles during her career, including years as a clerk in the Harlan County Circuit Clerk’s office with the late Court Clerk Mary Lou Coldiron, as Harlan City Clerk under former Mayor, the late Hiram Brock, years spent taking depositions for local lawyers, and finally twenty-five years spent working as teller for the Bank of Harlan under the leadership of the late Mr. Edward Cawood (who loved her fried corn and cornbread!). She also belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star.
Lib was a firecracker in every sense of the word. Not one to mince words, if she loved you, she was sure to tell you. If she was upset with you, well, you would hear about that, too. She was devoted to her church, her family, her pets (whether or not they actually belonged to her was a minor technicality), her community, and Kentucky basketball! Her energy and desire to remain independent up into her nineties led to her children having to “misplace” her ladders and power tools, and “lose” her car keys (after replacing her mailbox for the fifth time).
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 72 years, former Harlan County Sheriff and long-time District 1 Magistrate, Harold Edward Howard, in 2013. Three older brothers, Ralph Duncan, Carl Duncan, and David Smith also preceded her in death.
She is survived by her loving children, Daniel E. Howard and wife Debby Webb Howard of Harlan, Frieda Howard Baker and husband Joe Baker of Barbourville; grandchildren Seth Howard and wife Jane Dickerson of Seattle, Washington, Whitney Howard Mendiondo and husband Adrian of Lexington, Kathy Baker Moore of Hilton Head, South Carolina, and US Navy Captain Lindsey Joe Baker, III, and wife Morella of Vienna, Virginia; great-grandchildren Daniel Webb Howard, Lillian and Anna Mendiondo, Hannah Moore of Plainfield, Indiana, Logan Moore of Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Matthew, Mark and Isabella Baker; and special grandchildren, Jordan Foster and Earl Raglin.
The family would like to thank her long-term caregivers, particularly the team that carefully and lovingly cared for her during her final weeks. Hospice staff and services were greatly appreciated during her final days, as well as the friends and neighbors who have encouraged, helped, and prayed for her along the way. We will forever be grateful for kindness shown to her by so many over the years.
Visitation will be held at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at the Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home of Harlan.
Funeral services will follow at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of the Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home with Reverend Kyle Burnette officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her memory to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Processing Center, PO Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394 or to Bluegrass Hospice Care, 2972 S. US Hwy, 25E, Barbourville, KY 40906.
Condolences, memories, or photos may be left at www.aljfh.com
Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Margaret Elizabeth Howard.
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