Dorothy Alice Howard
February 4, 1929 – March 1, 2013
Dorothy Alice Howard (Phimister)
With great sadness, we share the news of the sudden death of our beloved mother and grandmother on March 1, 2013, surrounded by family, at St. Boniface Hospital. Dorothy was born in Winnipeg in February 1929. Her parents were Jim and Alice Phimister, and she enjoyed growing up in the extended Phimister clan. At a young age, she began music and dance lessons, and later had leading roles in school and university productions. Dorothy graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree, later earning a Licentiate in Music and a Master of Education. In 1950, she married Kenneth Howard. The couple had two daughters, Rosalyn and Laurel, and remained connected through family ties after the marriage ended in the 1970s.
In the 1950s and 60s, Dorothy performed with the CBC Winnipeg Choristers, James Duncan Singers, Hollow Mug Theatre, and as mezzo-soprano soloist with the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and, for ten years, Westminster United Church. In 1969, Dorothy joined the Department of Music, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, starting a distinguished twenty-five year career there. An inspiring teacher and mentor, she developed special and enduring relationships. Her students were consistent winners of scholarships and awards, many of them continuing to singing and teaching careers. She started an Opera / Music Theatre program and staged many productions. She also initiated a Master's program in Voice. In 1991, as a full professor, she was honoured with the Master Teacher Award, given to an outstanding teacher chosen by students and faculty. Upon her retirement in 1994, she was made Professor Emeritus and a scholarship for promising young singers was established in her name. Dorothy co-founded the Saskatoon Opera, and performed several times with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She gave numerous solo recitals, many broadcast by the CBC, and was a champion of contemporary and Canadian music. Her adjudicating took her to almost every part of Canada. She was also an examiner with The Western Board of Music. Dorothy returned to Winnipeg in retirement and had happy years with Gerald (Jerry) Fullerton until his death in 2010, including ten winters in Jekyll Island, Georgia. Dorothy treasured her summers at “Innisfree,” her beloved lakefront cottage in Ponemah on Lake Winnipeg, enjoying children, grandchildren, and friends. Dorothy was an avid CBC listener, and relished watching and discussing movies, especially the classics. She loved poetry, mystery novels, and all the arts. A woman of intelligence, beauty, talent, grace, and wisdom, Dorothy touched many lives. She cherished her friends. Most of all, she and her family shared a deep love. Her spirit will always be with us. She is survived and profoundly missed by her daughters, Rosalyn (Angus) and Laurel (David), and her grandchildren, James, Althea, Graeme, Zander, and Elena. As Dorothy wished, there will be no funeral; cremation has taken place.
The family thanks the doctors and nurses at St. Boniface Hospital, and Dr. Sheila Domke.
In lieu of flowers, anyone so wishing may make a contribution in her memory to: The Dorothy Howard Scholarship Fund, c/o N. Spence, Department of Music, 28 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK., S7N 0X1. A celebration of Dorothy’s life will be held in the spring.
Dorothy Alice Howard
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March 17, 2013
Dear Roslyn and Laurel, to you and your family I send my condolences on the loss of your beautiful mother. She will always remain in my memory as a figure of grace with a beautiful friendly smile, just from those far away memories I have of her when we enjoyed those blissful summers as children growing up in Whytewold. Perhaps we'll be able to reconnect at some time this summer in Ponemah? That would be lovely. With loving thoughts and memories, Karen (Halas) Klisko.
March 5, 2013
To my dear friends, I can't tell you sad I was to hear about your mom. I have a lifetime of memories of her that will always bring a smile to my heart. Thinking of you. Love Kathleen