Annette (Rusty) M. R. Howards 12-30-1923 to 08-09-2013
Madison - Annette Mildred Ruth (Schubert) Howards, age 89, passed away on Aug. 9th. She was born in the Bronx, New York on December 30, 1923 to Cecil and Betty (Dornbaum) Schubert. In March 1944, she joined the United States Marine Corps Womens Reserve - because of course, if you're going to go, you go with the best.
Her pride in being a U.S. Marine continued until she died (and probably even now) on August 9, 2013. She was stationed at North Island, Sand Diego, El Toro, Santa Ana, CA as Master of the Tool Crib. It was there that she developed a love for the F4U Corsair airplane and met Pfc. Bernard Howards, who was to be her husband until his death on February 14, 2001. She was honorably discharged as a Corporal in April 1946 and married on April 28, 1946. Bernard and Annette began life together in Milwaukee, WI and were soon joined by sons Michael, Gary and Kenneth.
In 1954 the family moved to Racine, WI where Jeffrey and Laurel completed the clan. They moved to Madison in 1964 and with a few years in Glenwood IL, returned to Madison to live in their "temporary" home. Mom worked for the Madison Public School District as a Teacher Aide at Huegle Elementary School. She learned how to drive in her mid 40's, a sure sign that she could tackle any new adventure that came her way. Mom was active in the Temple Beth El Sisterhood, volunteering for years playing bingo at the Verona Nursing Home, slicing corned beef for Food-a-Rama, sorting clothes for a rummage sale or baking for an oneg after Friday Night Services.
In her spare time, she was often one of the oldest walkers and the first to finish the March of Dimes Walkathon. She joined the Marine Corps League and was very active in the Women's Marines Association and Women's Veteran's Association. She always said, "at fundraisers who can turn down a little old lady selling roses at a Badger football game?"
After Dad suffered a stroke in 1987, Mom learned to be an independent woman again. She now became an advocate for her husband, making sure that he was well taken care of in his nursing home. She traveled to all the places she had only seen in magazines: Israel, Italy, France, Belgium, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Alaska, and many many Marine Air Base Group-2 reunions. Mom always stood up for social justice for Women's Rights and the LGBT community, not very common for women her age.
Mom was a voracious reader until she lost most of her sight due to Macular Degeneration. This was only another challenge for her to overcome. She learned to use a computer adapted for the visually impaired....well sort of! In 2002, she was interviewed for a Wisconsin Public Television series on WW II veterans. Her interview can be seen online through wpt.wisconsinstories. Mom was one of 11 women veterans to be on the first Badger Honor Flight on April 17, 2010. Mom fought until the end to stay as independent as as she could.
Annette was preceded in death by her parents, Betty and Cecil, her brother Ben Schubert, sister Bernice Schubert, and her husband Bernard Howards. Survivors include her sons Micheal (Lisa) Howards of Park Forest, IL, Gary (Sue) Howards, Oregon, WI, Kenneth (Jerilyn) Howards, Broad Cove Newfoundland, Jeffrey (Margaret) Howards, Leavenworth, KS and Laurel (Bert) Hefty, Albany, WI. Grandchildren, Seth Howards, El Paso, TX, Erin (Danny) Sullivan, Leavenworth, KS, Matthew (Anna Clausen) Howards, Tempe, AZ, Jason Howards, Minneapolis, MN, Amelia (Peter) Corbett, Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island Canada, Miriam Howards, St. Johns Newfoundland, Laura (Scott) Callejo, Crete, IL, Zachary Hefty, Albany, WI and Melanie (Joshua) Reed of DeKalkb, IL and great grandchildren Jordan, Makayla, Jack, Nathan, Levi, Aubrey, Shawn, Amaris, Katrina, Piper, and Luna.
We want to thank the many people that helped Mom over the years: Lynn's Craft Shop, for framing her many cross stitch projects, Anchor Bank for handwriting entries and balancing her checkbook, and Ace Hardware on Raymond Rd. for schlepping bags of salt to the house. Brian Yanke helped to take care of the yard and all the neighbors and friends that were part of her life.
Our heartfelt thanks to Carolyn and Kelly in the Cardiac ICU at the VA Hospital in Madison for putting up with our mishigas and letting us be part of Mom's last days in true Howards' fashion with more laughter than tears. Mom you left when the cuckoo clock you loved, that hadn't worked for 6 months, chimed at 10- Semper Fi Mom.
Visitation will be held Monday August 12, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI to be followed by a service at 11:00 a.m. and internment at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Luncheon at Temple Beth El, Madison, WI. Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com
In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Jewish Social Services of Madison, WI or Temple Beth El Larry Kohn Educational Fund.