Lois K. Howe

Lois K. Howe, 88, Rapid City, S.D., passed away on March 11, 2023. Lois was born on June 16, 1934, in Riverside, Calif., to Viola Elizabeth (Allen) and DeCleo Smith, who, because of the depression, had moved with their five young children, Joe, Marie, Freda, Dean, and baby Wayne from South Dakota to Norco, Calif. to find work. 

In 1946, when Lois was twelve, she and her mom, dad, Dean, and Wayne moved back to South Dakota, to Bennett County. Along with her new-found cousins, Lois first attended St. Mary’s School for Indian Girls in Springfield. She then attended the 7th and 8th grades at Kyle Public School and then Bennett County High School, where she graduated in May of 1952.

Lois spent summers with her sister Marie in Minnesota, where she worked and bought school clothes. In September of 1952, Lois returned to South Dakota to marry her high school sweetheart, Dick Howe. The couple then began working for Dick’s grandparents in the sandhills, thus beginning their 35 years of ranching. They were blessed with three children, Dicksy, Craig, and Kent. A precious memory is of the summer Lois’s brother Dean let her drive his racecar for the “Powder Puff Derby” wearing soft leather gloves Dick had given her while the apples of their eyes, their three children, cheered her on. Even at home, she would drive around the curves to the ranch house and the kids would happily call out “Faster, Mom, faster!” As a 1981 and 2022 cancer survivor, Lois looked at life as a wonderful gift and a miracle.

Lois’s survivors include her three precious children, Dicksy, Craig (Mabel), and Kent (Sandie); three step-grandchildren, Michael, Sarah, and Evangeline; and many family members and other loved ones.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband Dick, who died on February 14, 2002.

Visitation was held from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at Kirk Funeral Home. A luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. at St. Katharine’s Episcopal Church in Martin, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Funeral to follow at 1 p.m. with burial at 2 at the Martin Community Cemetery.

Arrangements are with Kirk Funeral Home.

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