SALEM TOWNSHIP – Patricia Helena Howard passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, January 8, 2022, with her loving family by her side. Pat was born on October 28, 1940, in Skowhegan, the daughter of Jack and Helena (Greenlaw) Abbott. She was the oldest of nine and maintained a close relationship with them all, even in her final days. She graduated as valedictorian from Kingfield High School in 1958.
On April 25, 1959, Pat married the love of her life, Ralph Howard. Together they raised their sons, Mark and Gary, and spent the next 62 years falling in love. While being an amazing wife and mother, Pat also held various jobs including; working at her mother’s restaurant, Riverside Inn (now Longfellows), Howard Johnsons in Milford, CT, Army Surplus Store in Portland, Fairchilds in Windham, Mt. Abram High School, JoneCo, The Original Irregular, Tranten’s Family Store and Mountain Tops at Sugarloaf. While her sons were in high school, she continued her education by attending Beal College and earning a degree in business. She was also the bookkeeper for Ralph Howard Lumbering, RPM Lumber, and Quick Stream Gravel.
Pat and Ralph spent a lot of time adventuring with family. They visited Hawaii, Florida, Palm Springs, California and Las Vegas together. She enjoyed spending summers fishing on Moosehead Lake with her family and enjoying the weather on her front porch, with a coffee brandy in hand. Pat loved taking frequent trips to Foxwoods and Hollywood Slots with Ralph. During the winter, she loved preparing for Christmas. A 12’ Christmas tree lit up her home every year and presents filled the living room. She made lists and checked them twice, making sure everyone had equal amounts of gifts. Pat loved welcoming new additions to her family, new spouses and new babies always felt welcome in her home. Her family was the most important thing to her. From family reunions to Christmas parties, or just a Saturday night dinner at her home, she loved being surrounded by loved ones. She was fiercely proud of her family, always quick to praise even the smallest success, and help overcome any trouble. The walls of the Howard home are covered in framed photos of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. As much as she loved showing off pictures of her family, Pat was arguably the least photogenic person, and did her best to stay out of the frame. The memories she leaves behind mean more than any picture could capture. She was someone who could make any situation something to laugh at. She loved to laugh and share that joy with whoever would listen to her retell a story. She was protective of her family and though she could laugh, she could also make you feel safe and looked out for. Pat had a passion for quilting and crocheting, gifting many of her beautiful quilts and afghans to her family over the years. She also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles in the daily paper, had a love for Elvis, and enjoyed watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy every night. She also earned the titles of Pickle Queen, Undefeated Mrs. Pac-Man Champion, and Official Translator for Ralph’s numerous witticisms.
Pat leaves behind her devoted husband of 62 years, Ralph; her sons, Mark Howard and wife Kathy, and Gary Howard; grandchildren, Jesse and Amanda Howard, Justin and Rachel Howard, Jacob Howard, Kayla and Joshua Hill, Jamey Howard and Kirstin Wardrick, Alix and Phil Shurtleff Jr., Jill and Ethan Ryan; great grandchildren, Everett, Brynleigh, Daisy and Owen Howard, Harper Howard (and baby boy due in April), Ayden and Camden Hill, Wesley and Paxton Wardrick, Camille, Adrianna and Jemma Howard, Bodhi and Brooks Shurtleff, and Mila Ryan. She is also survived by her sisters and their spouses, Nancy and Harold Rowley, Joyce and Steve Aldrich, Roseanne Ross and Al Bean, Jacky and Ronnie Whitman, Judy Frank and Beverly Chasse; her brothers and their spouses, Milford and Roseanna Abbott, Donald and Kaye Abbott; many nieces and nephews; and her special friend, favorite mail lady and hairdresser, Renee Chandler. She was predeceased by her parents, Jack and Helena Abbott; beloved grandparents, Harry and Stella Greenlaw, Maude and Moses Abbott.
The family would like to thank Emily, Melissa, Nikki, Patti, and Taren from Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice for their kind and compassionate care, and for their help guiding her family through difficult days.
Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can’t help falling in love with you.
A gathering to honor her wishes will be held in the spring.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington, ME 04938.