Reverend Maxine Marie Hunter Howard, born 23 December 1919 in Morgan County passed away 10 October 2021 at her home in Springfield, Mo. She was married to Rev. Gail Howard, who preceded her in death in 1997. They pastored in Kansas for nearly 50 years. She had one sister, Juanita Lietzke and two brothers, Bob and Bill Hunter, all of whom preceded her in death. She had one son, David Howard, who passed away in 1997, married to Barbara and two daughters, Ruth Kaunley of Springfield, Mo., married to Sam and Deborah Highfill of Pleasanton, KS., married to Guy. She had eight grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Maxine Hunter was a very focused young lady and set one of her goals as becoming a schoolteacher. During the 1930’s she set out on an adventure to attend Missouri State Teacher’s College, known as Missouri State University, currently. She completed her teacher’s certificate and immediately began teaching in a one room county school house as a sought-after teacher.
In 1945 Maxine Hunter married Gail Howard, their one and only love. They soon headed to Kansas City to work in War plants to support the troops of WWII. The big city was quite a change from their rural upbringing. However, that is where God called them, and they never looked back.
When the war ended, the next lifelong adventure began—their call to full time ministry. During that time, they pastored or supported three different churches. Gail and Maxine were a team in ministry. One of Sister Howard’s loves was teaching her Sunday School class for 42 years. She started out teaching the Newly Wed class, when they refused to be promoted to the life-builders class, she taught that next and the trend continued until her last class was the Senior Adult Class. Now that is some teacher!
With her adventuresome spirit, Sister Howard loved to travel. She visited every military base where her son’s family was stationed, China where Deborah, Guy and Joel were missionaries and many places in between.
On October 10, 2021, she made her final trip and experienced the completion of her ultimate goal and worked her entire life for. In one effortlessly last breath, she left this world and looked into face of the One she loved the most, hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…..enter into the joy of thy lord.”
Maxine Howard left us all the template of a life well lived. A life that was a sweet pillar of strength and grace. A life that was pleasing to God. Proverbs 31:30, sums it all up, saying ..”a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.