We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Wheeler Mortuary of Portales, Inc.
Funeral services for Maurene Howard, 87, of Kenna, NM will be held at 10:00 AM, Tues., June 21, 2022 in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel with Pat Boone and Jeff Bilberry officiating. Burial will follow in the Kenna cemetery with Shae Pettigrew, Cody Hintz, Kerry Osburn, Brad Mauldin, Mark Sena and Jacob Loewen serving as pallbearers. Maurene’s neighbor, Bobby Cooper along with all of the past band members, family members and her many friends will be honorary pallbearers. The family will receive guests at the funeral home on Monday evening from 6 to 8 PM.
Thelma Maurene Howard, known to virtually everyone as Maurene, was born Feb. 28, 1935 in Portales to the home of Gertrude Mae (Drake) and William "Floyd" Vincent, and died at her home on June 14, 2022. She grew up in the Rogers community where she attended school through her sophomore year of high school. When the schools consolidated, she went to Elida where she graduated in 1953. At that time there weren’t sports programs for the girls, but Maurene was a cheerleader. However, she would have done well in track and swimming, as she was a fast runner and an excellent swimmer. On Nov. 24, 1953 in Fort Sumner, she was married to Jake Howard. Their first home was at a ranch south of Kenna. From there they moved to the U Bar Ranch between Elida and Caprock. In 1978, she and Jake bought the ranch adjacent to their parents’ adjoining ranches where they spent the remainder of their lives.
While she was still in high school, her future husband, Jake, taught her to play the guitar. They, along with several others formed a band that played for various school events, and at barn dances and other occasions. They even made a record of their music. Music remained a huge part of her life, playing with her husband, and various others every weekend and often in between for various funerals, weddings, Senior Citizens events, barn dances, churches and any other occasion that presented itself. Maurene continued playing for the public until just a few years ago when her health would no longer permit. She was a member of the Elida Methodist Church.
She is survived by her children, Monte Howard of Rogers, Dan and Betty Howard of Kenna, Kim and Jeanie Howard of Texico, Ann and Kit Pettigrew of Dora and Charla Howard of Elida; seven grandchildren, Meghen Howard, Kimberly (Cody) Hintz, Krysten Howard, Brad (Amber Lynn) Mauldin, Mindy (Mark) Sena, Shae (Jenny) Pettigrew and D’Shawn (Kerry) Osburn; and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her only sister, Irene Hill, a grandson, Jason Howard who died in 2003, and by her beloved husband, Jake, who died Aug. 13, 2015 after nearly 62 years of marriage.