Longtime Edmond resident Mary M. Howell, 71, died at home Saturday, November 2, 2013. Mary Blair Michael was born June 30, 1942, in Lenoir, N.C. to William “Mike” Michael and Dorothy “Dolly” Blair Michael. One of her fondest childhood memories was travelling to Cuba in the 1950s with her parents where she recalls sitting on the beach and eating coconut ice cream out of a real coconut. She also liked to tell the story of how she gave the family dog a haircut and a shave to make him look like a lion.
Mary graduated high school in Charlotte, N.C., earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in 1964 and a master’s degree from Old Dominion in 1975. A North Carolinian by birth, she loved her adopted state of Oklahoma. She moved to Edmond in 1978 and worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services where she was an advocate for others for more than 25 years. She always said she enjoyed giving people opportunities to help themselves. She retired in 2008.
Mary is survived by two sons, David “Alex” Howell of Orlando, Fla., and Mike Howell and his wife, Pam, of San Antonio, Texas, and their daughter Katherine, now 16. When Katherine was 5 years old, she whispered to friends: “You have to watch out for my Granmary; she’s tricky.”
Immediately after Katherine was born, Mary drove to San Angelo, Texas. Along the West Texas plains, she was stopped for speeding. Always gregarious, Mary struck up a 30-minute conversation with the state trooper and found out he had just become a first-time grandparent of a girl as well. Mary thought she had sweet-talked her way out of it, but got a ticket anyway.
One of Mary’s greatest pleasures was spending time with her many dear friends. In fact, at the time of her death was getting ready to go to her usual bridge game. Mary also loved playing with her cat, Jasmine; reading, traveling, shopping (especially for shoes and jewelry), drinking Diet Coke, going to movies and volunteering at art sales at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (NCWHM) in Oklahoma City.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, November 9 at Baggerley Funeral Home, 930 S. Broadway, Edmond. The family welcomes flower remembrances; however, memorials may be made to the NCWHM at www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.