Hazel Howes

Hazel Howes

Hazel Marie Howes passed away surrounded by family at sunrise on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, after struggling with cancer.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ron; her nine living children (and spouses): Glenn (Mei), Annie Bullert (Steve), John (Andrea), David (Alicia), James, Joseph, Andrew (Katie), Tom (Kira) and Sarah — her son Michael preceded her departure (†1981). She is also survived by her 18 grandchildren — Ronald, Kelly, Mitchell, Aveline, Gabrielle, Sasha, Julia, Laurel, Rheanna, Jack, Amanda, Ariella, Shanaia, Aliyah, Divante, Oliver, Audrey, and a child-to-be-named-later — and her sister, Laura Freundschuh.

Hazel was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland in 1943. She moved to Minnesota when she was 8. She met her husband while at college, and the two were married in 1966.

Hazel was radiant with love, warmth, and kindness. She loved people, all people, and saw the good in everyone, but she especially loved her family and was devoted to them with limitless generosity. A Catholic, she lived life with a profound trust in providence and apprehension of her maker as a loving parent. When her parents, Wally and Helen Ehrnreiter, were nearing the end of their life, she labored with her sister Laura in their aid despite being almost 70 herself and already dedicated to spending so much time with her grandchildren.

She would strive to share in the interests of her children. She enjoyed watching Jeopardy, and she was very proud of her oldest son who was a contestant. She used her artistic talent to illustrate a children’s book that her daughter Annie wrote. She spoke politics with her more politically-inclined children — especially Sarah, a SAG-AFTRA attorney. She became a sports fan to bond with others. She never let disagreements harm her relationships: she saw through ideologies to the people behind them – and she always loved.

She said she had no favorites among her children or grandchildren, and she was not lying (we know that because she did not believe in lying). She didn’t need to lie because with each new child, her heart expanded.

No one could make her laugh like her husband, who frequently provided comic relief throughout both easy and difficult times in their marriage. If Hazel felt she should not be laughing, she could not contain it anyway: with her modest face turning red trying to hold back the laughter. She loved her husband immensely and was proud, first, of her accomplishment keeping him in line, and, second, she was proud of him and his noble generosity.

Hazel’s effect on the world is immeasurable and it will only multiply with time: we can never repay her, but we strive to pay it forward.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake.

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