My mother, Doris Elizabeth (Hogeland) Howell, died on Sept. 6 at age 98 in Palm Coast, Florida. She was the wife of Frederick E. “Dixie” Howell who died in 1988.
My mother was born on November 19, 1921 in Driftwood, Pennsylvania to Charles C. Hogeland, a forester for the State of Pennsylvania, and Ida M. Hogeland, a homemaker. She had two older brothers, Ellis and Vernon. She is survived by her two sons and our families – my brother Rick, his wife Gail, grandchildren Richard, Gary, Jill and Karen and five great grandchildren. And my wife Nancy and me; grandchildren, Mark, Brian and Greg and three great grandchildren.
My mother was raised in the mountains of South Renova, Pennsylvania and graduated from South Renova High School in 1940. She went on to attend Rider College in Trenton and received her Associate Degree in Accounting and Business.
In 1945, Doris met and, shortly thereafter, married Dixie Howell in Trenton. Together, throughout the next few years, they made several moves in support of my dad’s academic and coaching career. In 1947, Rick was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and, in 1950, I was born in Dover, Delaware where Dixie was coaching soccer, basketball and baseball at Wesley Junior College.
In 1952, our family moved to Ocean City, where Dixie coached baseball, basketball, football and tennis at Ocean City High School. His teams won the state basketball championship in both 1955 and 1964 and he was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame, NJSIAA Hall of Fame and OCHS Sports Hall of Fame.
Additionally, my mother worked part time in accounting at Ford & Scott Associates in downtown Ocean City. However, anyone who met her would ultimately hear of her storied experiences after graduating college and working at Seagram’s in Kentucky as their whiskey taste tester.
Together, Doris and Dixie shared a love for tennis. They were a regular fixture at the 6th Street Courts, where they played all year long, and acquired many lifelong friends.
In 1982, my mother was awarded a Letter of Recognition from the Mayor of Ocean City, for her support of tennis in Ocean City. As part of the construction of a new high school, she championed for the building of a tennis facility and courts on the old high school block at 6th street and fought for the preservation of the courts at 18th and 35th streets.
Equal to her love of tennis, my mother believed in staying active. She was also a pro with crossword and jigsaw puzzles. When she wasn’t on the tennis court, she could be seen riding her pink beach bike throughout the Gardens in Ocean City, or on the boardwalk. In fact, Mom would take pride in riding her bike the entire length of the Boardwalk and back, which is the equivalent .to 5 miles every day. She completed this daily cycling adventure until the inspiring age of 90.
My mother later moved to Isles of Palms, SC to be with family for a few years, and subsequently moved again to Palm Coast, FL. Always cheerful, caring and loving, she had a quick wit and enjoyed a good joke.
A very loyal friend, wife, mother and grandmother, she will be sorely missed.