Mary Elizabeth Howard passed away Saturday evening, Sept. 8, 2012. She was 86.

Mary Elizabeth Howard passed away Saturday evening, Sept. 8, 2012. She was 86.

Elizabeth was born May 30, 1926, in Joplin, to Millard Frank Morgan and Edith Rona Long Morgan. She attended Joplin schools, graduating in 1944. Her first job was when she was 12 years old at Leonard Park Pool. In 1942, she began work at Newman’s Department Store in the layaway department-and credit office and worked there until after graduation. She then went to Crawfordsville, Ind., in May 1944 to work at HR Donnely Publishing in the Readers Digest department, returning home in 1945, when she went to work at Southwestern Bell Phone Co. for five years. She also was manager of Lithography Co., office manager of Clark Printing and bookkeeper and credit manager of Otasco for 17 years.

Elizabeth married Stephen James Howard on Aug. 31, 1946 in Joplin; he preceded her in death on April 20, 1991. Together they had four children, Stephen Lynn, Samuel James and twin girls Carolyn Lue and Marolyn Lee. She had two sisters, Virginia Baggerly, Helen Eggers, and two brothers, Frank Morgan and Van Morgan.

Helen, Frank and Van preceded her in death.

Elizabeth is survived by her four children, Stephen Lynn and wife, Kay of Columbus, Kan., Samuel James Howard and wife, Patt of Joplin, Carolyn Lue Howard, and husband John, Neosho and Marolyn Lee Higgins and husband Robert, Joplin; nine grandchildren (Lisa Braidech, Krista Howard, Willie Howard, Kim Pope, Sean Higgins, Ryan Higgins, Mackie Pounds, Dustey Howard and Bradley Howard), 18 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; sister Virginia Baggerly of Joplin; sisters-in-law Wilma Howard and Mary Evelyn Morgan; nieces and nephews; and very special friends, Tom and Shirley Flood, Tina and Jim Barkley and Dorothy Adkins.

Elizabeth loved spending time with family and friends, playing solitaire, gin ruby and dominoes. She was a great wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She was always there anytime someone needed to talk, or needed a laugh. She had numerous caregivers that affectionately called her grandma. She will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be held from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday at Parker Mortuary in Joplin. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, with Brian Wideman, great nephew, officiating, at Parker Mortuary, Joplin.

Burial will follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery with grandsons serving as pallbearers.

Contributions may be made to First Community Church, Downtown Lions Club.

Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary, Joplin.