|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Volume XIV Issue XIX The Ogden Valley news Page July 15, 2007 COMMUNITY cont. from page 1 bear being away from her children for too long. I was impressed with the interest she took in their lives and how well she taught them respect and kindness.” Lisa recalls how Janine enjoyed fun activities with her children. “Janine loved books and was frequently taking her children to the library. They also went on a lot of family walks and nature hikes. The family would gather fun things on their hikes and would get really excited about their treasures. In fact, Janine was anticipating her daughter Esther’s ninth birthday on July 7, and was contemplating a ‘nature walk’ birthday party.” Friend Andrea Durrant appreciated the efforts Janine made as music leader in their LDS ward primary. “She loved teaching music and also clearly loved the children,” says Andrea. “She was always so cute to wear pretty hats that matched her outfits and cute earrings to match the holidays . . . like big shamrock earrings on St. Patrick’s Day. She had the greatest attitude about her calling, and the kids really responded to her musical abilities and friendly nature.” Friend Sherry Spainhower enjoyed how Janine was always warm and friendly. “Janine absolutely loved people and made everybody feel comfortable,” says Sherry. “She took an interest in everyone. Instead of waiting for people to invite them over when they moved in last year, Janine and her family invited many families over to their house and made them feel like they were the best of friends.” Sherry also appreciated how Janine didn’t get caught up with things of worldly value. “My son Dustin has Down Syndrome and when he was playing at their house, I was concerned that he was going to break one of Matthew’s special toys. Janine said, ‘He’s not going to hurt it . . . don’t worry about it.’ She wanted him to play with it because it was making him happy. Sure enough, my son broke a piece of the toy, but Janine didn’t seem to care. She was glad that he had enjoyed playing with the toy and just said, ‘Sherry, it’s just a thing; things don’t matter . . . people do. Forget about it.” Matthew Alma Howard, 11 Matthew was a friend to everyone and loved to see everyone being kind to one another. He was also very bright, and excelled in learning. Kiko Reese, Matthew’s 5th grade teacher at Valley Elementary this past year, was very impressed with Matthew’s academic abilities. “Matthew was one of my top students and had a real eagerness to learn and succeed. He would complete his assignments early and would frequently inquire about future assignments because he liked to stay ahead. He always tested very well and received several academic achievement awards for scoring in the top 10 percent in many portions of the IOWA test, which evaluates levels of learning from the year’s curriculum. Kiko also acknowledged Matthew’s compassion. “Matthew genuinely cared about everyone. He truly strived to be friends with everyone, and all of the kids liked him. If anyone was ever mad at him, it was devastating to him and he did everything he could to make it better.” Kiko also appreciated how polite Colby Lund, 11, was a friend that often played with Matthew at school, as well as after school or on the weekends. “In the wintertime, we would play on a huge hill in my backyard and build jumps so we could sled on them. We also liked to play on the computer. Matthew was always so nice and always wanted to be friends with everyone.” Esther Hope Howard, 8 Esther was a lot like her mother—bubbly, enthusiastic, and simply excited to be alive. She was also very kind, and being a good friend to others was important to her. Primary teacher Becky Nielsen was often inspired by Esther’s behavior at Ben and Janine Howard with children, Matthew, 11, Rachel, 13, Caleb, 7, and Esther, 8. Also shown at top is unofficially adopted son John DeVores. Matthew was. “On the rare occasion that I had to remind Matthew to change his behavior, he would immediately respond, ‘yes, sir,’ and that was the end of it. He showed me a great deal of respect, and I knew he had been well taught at home. I used to joke with his mother that if I could clone him and have a classroom full of Matthew’s, my job would be a lot easier.” Friend Christian Italiano, 11, spent time with Matthew at school. “He often told funny jokes and was always making me laugh. We’d play together at recess a lot and we really liked to play baseball and catch. Sometimes we would just talk and that was really fun too.” Austin Hanni, 11, was also friends with Matthew at school. “Matthew was always a friend that joined in all our games at recess, and was careful about including everyone. Everybody liked him because they knew he was their friend.” church. “Esther was always a very happy child, yet very tender hearted. She always made everyone her friend and was careful to include all.” Becky was particularly touched by an experience she saw with her granddaughter. “I occasionally bring my granddaughter to church with me and I was impressed with how Esther made a point to learn her name . . . and never forgot it. She always invited her to sit by her in primary. Well, on this past Father’s Day, my granddaughter was visiting and the kids were going to sing in sacrament meeting in front of all the adults. Esther recognized that my granddaughter was nervous to sing because she didn’t know anybody. Esther reassured her and told her not to worry . . . she could stand by her when they sang. Esther even asked her mother if she could sit with her in the congregation before the children sang so that she wouldn’t have to walk up to the stand by herself.” Becky said that Esther was very selfless. “For some reason, in our primary class, there is one seat that is the most popular,” she said. “If Esther was sitting in that chair and someone else wanted it, she wouldn’t even hesitate to give it to someone else; that was just the kind of kid she was.” Jenny Harris was able to get acquainted with Esther because she taught her in a weekly “activity day” group and because her daughter Sydney frequently played with Esther. “Esther had an unbridled enthusiasm for life,” says Jenny. “Everything in her life was pure fun. Like her mother, she was very bubbly and almost bouncy. She was so cute because she would get talking so fast and with such a high-pitched voice that it was often hard to follow what she was saying.” Jenny’s daughter Sydney, 9, says that she will miss playing with Esther because they had a lot of fun together. “We always called Esther, ‘Esther the Elephant’ because she collected lots of elephants, mostly fuzzy ones, and she loved them. We played pretend a lot and made up games like fairies, and runaway girls. We also played Pokemon and Polly Pockets, too.” Sydney noticed how Esther included her younger brother, Caleb, 7, when they played. “I thought it was neat how Caleb was with us a lot and how Esther liked to have him with us. She never wanted to leave him alone and he was really fun to play with, too.” Megan Brasher, 9, remembers how Esther was always really kind when they spent time together. “There were games we played together that Esther didn’t really like, but she played them anyway because she wanted to be nice. She also wanted to include all the younger kids because she knew that would be really nice, too.” Funeral services for the three members of the Howard family took place Saturday, July 7. Our prayers and thoughts are with the grieving family, and for Caleb Abinadi Howard, 7, who remains in critical condition at Primary Children’s Hospital. Rachel Howard, 13, was also in the accident and came home from the hospital last week. Ben Howard, the father, is self employed and has no medical insurance. If you would like to make a contribution to the family for medical expenses, they can be made to “The Howard Relief Fund” at Washington Mutual Credit Union, Account #3163059211, Routing #325070760.