Willia “Ann” Howard peacefully passed on to glory in the early morning of Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Ashton, Maryland. Her final days were surrounded by family, whom she cared for and loved.
Ann, as she was affectionately called, was an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and caregiver. She was born on February 6, 1937 in the Mount Zion area of Olney, Maryland where she lived her entire life.
Ann graduated from Carver High School in Rockville, Maryland in 1955. In 1953 during her sophomore year, Ann was crowned “Miss Carver” by her classmates, undoubtedly for her loving personality that was sprinkled with a bit of sass. Ann loved school and excitedly attended Carver’s 50th class reunion with some of her dear friends and classmates.
Ann gave her hand in marriage to the late George E. Howard in 1961. Together they raised their six children: one son, Alexander Washington; five daughters, Doris Green, Linda Washington Martinez, Delores Howard (deceased), Rose Bell and Donna Law.
Ann helped support her family as a dedicated domestic worker. She started with a local family and continued with other families that quickly grew to truly care about Ann’s life and family. She attended all of their family events, and was loved by their children and grandchildren. Ann was much more than an employee; she was part of their families in many ways.
Ann had many unique skills. One very unique skill was ironing clothes better than any dry cleaners. Long after her retirement as a domestic worker, because of her professionalism and expertise, families continued to bring her their garments and linens to be ironed.
With a green thumb that could thrust life into any plant, you could often find Ann working in her own special flower garden. A stickler for details, gardening was a skill she quickly learned from one of her employers. Occasionally, Ann would work in the flower shop, gaining yet another skill for making beautiful live and artificial flower arrangements. She made flower arrangements for her daughters' weddings, children’s homes, and the church. Although she was diagnosed with and battled a great fight against Alzheimer’s, she continued to care for all of her household plants as a hobby.
Ann accepted Christ as her personal Savior at an early age; she was a very dedicated, faithful, and honorable servant to her house of God as a member of Oak Grove A.M.E. Zion Church. Ann served in many ministries, as a stewardess, trustee, treasurer, deaconess, and choir member. She always strived to be the best in whichever capacity she served. She took pride in making sure that the church was clean and beautiful with perfectly ironed linens and gorgeous, fresh cut flower arrangements. Ann enjoyed setting up elegant church décor for holidays, baby christenings, and special events. She will forever be known for her passion for serving the church, her second home, where she fervently used her gifts, setting the example for her children and grandchildren of how to be a humble servant of Christ.
Ann enjoyed decorating her home just the same. She had special decorations for each occasion and changed her home to show them whether it was spring, summer, winter, or fall. She truly loved the idea of celebrating whatever season or holiday it might be. When you entered her home, you felt like you were welcomed and comfortable. She loved visitors and her warm hospitality ensured that you did not leave without something to eat or drink. Ann always wanted the celebrations to be at her home or her yard, where it was always clean, comfortable and a fun place to be.
She loved to take care of others and their needs. She had tenderly dedicated her time to take care of her grandmother, mother, and husband when they became ill. She provided the best care for them until their last breaths.
With her strong work ethic and devotion as a wife and mother, Ann taught her children to always strive to be good to others and to treat everyone with love. When able, she always made sure they had what they needed as well as some of their wants. She made sure that they were grounded in the Lord and understood the value of family.
This delightful woman loved by so many, will truly be missed and always cherished. Ann was preceded in death by her husband, George E. Howard; their daughter Delores Howard; sister Rosa Mae Rounds; parents Carl and Victoria Selby.
Left to cherish her memory are: one brother, Richard Selby (Reverend Pearl) and one sister Beulah Selby-Jones; five children: Doris Green (Paul), Linda Washington Martinez (Alex), Alexander Washington, Rose Bell (Christopher) and Donna Law (Anthony “Sean”); eleven grandchildren: Tanesha (Charles), Natausha, Natalie (Philip), Alicia (Marqus), Juanita (Christopher), Sharelle (Kevin), Isaiah, Toya (Dwayne), Kenzel, Jennea and AJ; fifteen great-grand children and three god-children; Shirley Nolan, Kellie Dutton, and Tonya Parrott, a dear friend Mary Hopkins, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.