Iris Jean (Wilson) Howie was born June 24, 1926 in the family home in Allendale, MO. She was the ninth of ten children of Bert and Bessie (House) Wilson and she preferred to be called Jean. Jean’s formal education ended at the end of 8th grade when the high school was moved to Grant City, but her ability to outwork most people around her continued until she was 90. A year following Virgil’s graduation from Redding High School, he and Jean were married on November 9, 1945. They moved with Virgil’s family to Fresno, California and worked there for 5 years. In 1950, the families moved back to the Redding area to farm. While being the dedicated farm wife, Jean also raised and canned a big garden, raised lambs, fed, sorted and separated cattle and hogs and raised 100 to 150 chicks to butcher and freeze in the summer. She and Virgil also raised two sons, Lanny Dean and Terry Lynn, and one daughter, Kelly Dawn and assisted in caring for several grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 2001, Virgil and Jean moved into town and Jean began working at the Family Resource Center in Mount Ayr. She was dearly loved and called “grandma” by all the children and other caregivers she came in contact with. Jean worked as a caregiver there for over 10 years.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil in 2008, her son, Terry in 2008, and her son, Lanny in 2017. Also preceding her death were her parents, 5 brothers, Geiger, Sanford, Billy, Marvis “Bud”, and Curtis, 4 sisters Mildred Rinehart, Lora Shipley, Beulah Deeken and Margaret Burnett as well as sister-in-law Aleine (Sam) Taylor, brother-in-law Leroy (Joanne) Howie, and brother-in-law Lowell (Alice) Howie.
Those left to cherish her memory include daughter Kelly Schlager and husband, Myron, of Huntington Beach, CA, daughter-in-law, Fay Howie of Mount Ayr, 7 grandchildren: Shannon (Bob) Hernandez of Jordan, MN, Adam (Abby) Howie of Boone, Megan Meyer of Newton, Alicia (Mike) Still of Corydon, Nathan (Jodi) Howie of Bondurant, Nolan (Terra) Howie of Kansas City, MO, and Devin (Lily) McLeod of Johnstown, CO, 2 step-grandchildren, Nichole (Aaron) Eckas and Danielle (Kevin) Lindesay, 16 great-grandchildren: Braylen and McKale Hernandez, Molly and Macy Meyer, Avery, Reece and Corbin Howie, Teya and Carter Still, Elliotte, Ava, and Bennett Howie, Hadyn and Hudson Howie, and Alexandra and Joana McLeod, 2 step great-grandchildren, Carter Baily and Avery Eckas sister-in-law, Delores (Jim) Moody of Port Angeles, WA, sisters-in-law, Margaret Wilson and Donna Wilson, many special nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.
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