Margaret Jean Howland
Passed away on April 5, 2019
Margaret Jean Howland
Bremerton, WA. - Margaret Jean Howland was born in Louisville, Kentucky on February 4, 1920 and died peacefully at home in Bremerton, Washington on April 5, 2019 at the age of 99. Peggy was raised in Menomonie, Wisconsin and graduated from Stout University. She later got her Master's in Child Welfare from the University of Minnesota. Peggy began her teaching career in 1944 at the University of Chicago Nursery School. In 1946 she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to be the Preschool Director at the Church of the Crossroads. While attending a Young Adult Fellowship at the First Methodist Church, she met Allan Howland. They were married in 1947, and their four children were born in the territory of Hawaii. In 1953 she developed the first preschool program in Honolulu for children with special needs.
After Allan was transferred to Bremerton in 1959, Peggy continued her teaching career and started the first early childhood program for special needs children in Bremerton. She later developed the first Head Start program for disadvantaged preschool children. Peggy also developed and organized the high school prevocational program, for which she received a Washington State Vocational Award in 1983. She retired in 1983 as an Assistant Principal at Bremerton High School.
Peggy was known as a visionary ahead of her time, an aggressive advocate for special education, and was described as a "velvet hammer". She has for many years been on the Board of Directors of Peninsula Services, a non-profit agency providing training and employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. She had a love for life and for learning, was always interested in others and encouraged them to develop to their fullest potential.
She was a strong supporter of the Bremerton Symphony, Cora Voce and other musical organizations. Peggy was an avid reader participating in several book clubs. She was also a member of PEO, Eastern Star, the Bremerton Symphony League, and several other organizations. In April 2013 she was honored to receive "The Woman of Achievement Award" from the YWCA, and in October of that same year she was given the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development. In honor of her 95th birthday, February 4, 2015 was declared "Peggy Howland Day" by Patty Lent, the Mayor of Bremerton.
Peggy's greatest satisfaction came from her faith, her family, and her friends. As a college freshman, she was given the assignment to set a life goal. She chose "contentment", and near the end of her life she felt that she was successful in realizing her goal.
She was preceded in death by Allan, her husband of 58 years. Peggy is survived by daughters Mele Howland, Beatrice Barabas, Louise Royce, and son James Howland. She also had five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Peggy was greatly loved and will be greatly missed!
There will be a "Celebration of Life" at Summit Avenue Presbyterian Church in Bremerton on Saturday, June 8 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of the following organizations: Bremerton Symphony, Cora Voce, Summit Avenue Presbyterian Church or PEO.