It was especially heartwarming to me how he witnessed extensively during his illnesses. He was proud of the method he devised after he had his stroke a couple years ago. He would ask the nurses and therapists to read the daily text for him, or a scripture, and then diligently keep track of every 5 minutes he witnessed. During his most recent illness, he used the same method, placing quite a few books with health care workers and even the hospice chaplain. I was even privileged to get a few good calls and start a Bible study with some nurses he witnessed to.

Another thing that was important to Dad during his illness and hospitalizations was prayer. Any brother that visited was required to say a prayer before they left. And even when he could barely talk, or was hardly aware of what was going on, he would pray out loud himself. Several times we thought he was hallucinating or mumbling something to us and he said no, he was talking to Jehovah.

Dad was a people person and loved to help people. He especially enjoyed working with younger ones and teaching them. Kids always loved being around him. He was like a little pied piper with the kids. In fact, I remember how we used to be jealous thru the years of when sometimes it seemed like he showed the other kids more attention than us, til we realized that we had to share our dad. Many of those kids didn’t have a dad or a good, spiritual dad, and I’m sure many of those kids’ lives have been greatly influenced positively because of the attention he showed them. Down through the years he was always taking someone under his wing, young or old, helping and mentoring them.

As far as a father, we couldn’t have asked for a more loving and supportive dad. Once he came in the truth, Dad always took the lead spiritually in the family. Some thought he was too strict, but it was for our own good, and we never felt that way. (Altho I think it was a bit overboard that he wouldn’t allow us girls to shave our legs, wear makeup or have our ears pierced til we got married. Haha May be one reason we married young?)

But, I think all of us kids thank Jehovah that Dad was “strict” – because all of us are strong in the truth, and he set a wonderful example for us when we raised our kids.

Yes, he expected us to attend all the meetings and Saturday field service was not optional – it was automatic – every Saturday. We never got to watch Saturday cartoons. But it nurtured a love of the ministry in us all – as a result, all 5 of us kids, and several of the grandchildren have served as regular pioneers.

He and Mom made sure we only had good associates (even in the congregation) and also provided us with wholesome recreation. They arranged for young ones to come over to our house on the weekends for snacks, basketball, and Bible games.

Our family studies were fun – 40 years before family worship night was invented. I remember especially enjoying when mom and dad would give us kids talk assignments to prepare and then we would put on our own pretend meetings.

I loved working with my dad in the ministry – and watching his teaching skills. You could see his love and concern for those he taught – and he always came up with the perfect scripture for whatever circumstance. Sometimes we would think he was too blunt or “tough” on his students with his counsel – but they responded – that’s what motivated them – and only he could get away with it.

He was also tireless in visiting and helping sick ones and helping those in the congregation with their problems. It taught us kids to be caring and giving to others.

We’re all proud and blessed to have Brother Howe as our father. We only hope that we can live up to his example and carry on his spiritual legacy in some small way.