In memory of
Howe, Valeta Valeta W. Howe died peacefully in Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vermont on Sunday, March 15,2020 at the age of 90. Valeta is survived by her daughter Katherine (Martin) Overington and son John (Evan Eyler) Walters, grandchildren Kathie McFarland and Devin Overington, great granddaughter Abigail McFarland, and her sister Velma Wilson. She was preceded in death by son Tom Walters and siblings Howard (Fran), Lee (Barb), Ronald (Joyce) and Morris Wilson. Valeta was particularly close to two nieces who survive her; Carol (Ron) Maurer and Carolyn (Dan) Wilson, and another niece who preceded her in death; Constance (Pete) Newell. Valeta was born on August 27, 1929 in Cadillac, Michigan. She was the sixth child born to her parents Ray Wilson and Agnes (Root) Wilson. They struggled to make ends meet through the Great Depression. As with many in her generation, the experience had a lifelong effect. Valeta graduated from Cadillac High School in 1948. After a brief first marriage, she married Herman Walters in 1954. They had three children together, John, Katherine and Tom, and divorced in 1975. Valeta later married Reuel Howe; he preceded her in death in 1985. Valeta was a largely self-taught artist dedicated to exploring different media and themes. Among her works are oil and watercolor paintings, ink sketches, miniature sculptures built inside eggshells, quilts, and a four-by-three-by-two-foot dollhouse, which was made from scratch and took nine years to complete. She liked to say that she built the house she never got to enjoy as a child. She also partnered with Reuel in pastoral work, art therapy and writing projects. Their partnership was productive and fulfilling for both of them. Valeta's son Tom suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a 1978 auto accident. He survived for another 26 years, but required round-the-clock care. For almost all of those years, he lived in the Evangelical Home – Saline, which provided excellent care. After Tom's accident, Valeta moved to Ann Arbor and took charge of providing much of his care and supervising other caregivers. It was a heroic feat, beyond the capacity - or even comprehension - of most individuals. Katherine and John will always be grateful for her commitment to her children, especially in times of crisis. In her later years, Valeta contracted Alzheimer's Disease, which tested her relationships with her family. Tested, but never broke; until the end, she recognized - in some way - those who were closest to her. A memorial service will be held sometime in the future, most likely in or near her hometown of Cadillac. Time and details remain uncertain, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. Family and friends will be notified when details are finalized. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations to the Germantown Library, 31 Palatine Park Rd, Germantown, NY, 12526, which is an important resource in Katherine's community where Valeta lived for several years after her Alzheimer's diagnosis. The Library hosted the last public exhibit of Valeta's artwork. The family would like to thank the staff and management at Bromley Manor in Manchester Center, Vermont, which cared for Valeta in the final months of her life.
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