Ila Howard

Obituary of Ila Charlene Howard

Ila Charlene Howard, 88, of San Tan Valley, AZ, passed away February 7th, 2023 after suffering a fall resulting in pelvic fractures and further complications. 


Ila was born on May 17th, 1934 in Malvern, Arkansas.  As a child, her family moved from Arkansas to Illinois, and later to California during World War ll.  Ila graduated in 1952 from Bell Gardens High School.  After graduation, she worked as a telephone operator in Huntington Park. 


In 1953, Ila met Bob Howard, a friend of her brother Jack.  The two began dating and in six months wed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1954.  Two years later they had their first daughter, Gale Ann, and in 1961 their second daughter, Sharon Lee.


Ila decided to dedicate her life to caring for her family, after briefly working at Farmer John’s to help out in a financial pinch.  She was a wonderful mother encouraging and helping her children with their homework, supporting and being their cheerleader in extracurricular activities, and was a leader in Blue Birds and Girl Scouts with each of her daughters.  She was a Bible school teacher and faithfully took her daughters to church, reading Bible stories to them at bedtime.  She not only encouraged her daughters to do their best in whatever they undertook, but she also praised them for their accomplishments.  When her children had an event, she was there.  


Ila was a good housekeeper, attending to her family’s needs, and she loved working outside in her garden.  She enjoyed traveling with her family, as well as taking trips with her mother.  After her husband retired, they traveled in and around Washington, DC, as well as to Europe for a cruise in the Baltic Sea.  Ila and Bob enjoyed several cruises in the Caribbean, and took their family on two such cruises, to the delight of their grandchildren.


Ila was predeceased by her brother, John Henry Schweitzer, her mother, Ila Mae Hendershot, and her husband, Bobbie Gene Howard.  She is survived by her daughters, Gale Fleer and Sharon Waichulaitis, her grandchildren Ryan and Justin Fleer, Raschel Henderson and Jade Waichulaitis, and a great granddaughter, Alayna Henderson.

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Funeral Service

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Meldrum Mortuary
52 N. Macdonald
Mesa, Arizona, United States
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