Vida Rene Howard, 54, passed this life on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Broken Arrow, leaving a legacy of compassion, love and joy.
Born March 19, 1963, Vida was a lover of birds, travel and beautiful things. She loved family vacations to the beaches at Destin, Florida. Her eyes lit up at the mention of Destin.
In another life, she just might have been a beachcomber. She had a keen eye for art and design, creating beautiful flower arrangements, home décor and crafts.
A giver of time and wisdom, Vida was the glue that bound her family through every crisis and the driving force behind so many successes. She hosted many holiday gatherings with grace, good humor and joyous hospitality.
Vida was a helper of people. She would give advice even if you didn’t want to hear it, but if she did, you most likely needed it. She seemed to find people when they needed her most.
Vida loved her husband Rick with her whole heart. Their 36-year marriage was full of love, trials, sadness, and triumphs – as well as three beautiful, compassionate children and six energetic, life-giving grandchildren.
She supported her husband’s work and entrepreneurial activities, serving as a true partner in their marriage and work. Vida was an entrepreneur herself, co-owner of Grand Lake Glass and once opening a fudge shop in downtown Grove that delighted many a sweet tooth.
Nothing gave her more joy than her grandchildren – celebrating their achievements and consoling their hurts. They filled her life with laughter, love and silliness.
Vida encouraged her grandchildren every day to follow their dreams and to know that they could be whatever they wanted to be. Their young lives already are imprinted with her deeply held faith in God and her values of honesty, compassion, humor, and the importance of learning.
Vida was known for her sassy wit, deeply compassionate heart, and quick mind.
She graduated from Grove High School in 1981 and earned her associate's degree from Northeastern A&M College in Miami.
To family and friends, she was a constant source of information on just about anything, from backyard birds to flowers.
Service to her beloved Grove community was important to Vida. After treatment for her first bout with cancer, she joined Grove Rotary in February 2016, because it was dedicated to making her hometown better, a cause near and dear to her heart.
Indeed, in Vida’s first year in Rotary, she was named the “Rotarian Newcomer of the Year,” serving on such committees as Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Fellowship, Adopt-a-Street, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and the LobsterFest Silent Auction, among others.
Vida took great delight in her “posse” of women friends, with whom she shared laughs, travel, wisecracks, love, support, and awesome “witches’” outings on Halloween. She did not suffer fools gladly, having perfected the “eye roll” with exquisite expression.
We rejoice in the fact that her pain is over, and cancer no longer holds her. She is with the Lord today and was greeted by Him and her family and friends who have already passed on.
Vida was preceded in death by grandparents Jess and Grace Hale of Zena and Haley Sanders of Grove.
A lifelong member of the Grove community, Vida is survived by her husband, Rick Howard, of Grove; parents Larry and Darlene Hale Sanders, Grove; sister Amy (husband Carl) Jones of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; grandmother Billie Carey Sanders of Grove; mother-in-law Anne Howard of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; father-in-law Dick Howard of Woodgate, New York; and children Devin (wife Meghan) Howard of Hartford, South Dakota, Megan (husband Mike) Cook of Broken Arrow, and Paige (husband Matt) Yarborough of Grove.
She leaves behind her beloved grandchildren: Scott and Riley Howard, Cooper and Hudson Cook, and Paisley and Colter Yarborough. She also is survived by niece Olivia Jones of Siloam Springs and nephew Jerek (wife Cassie) Jones of Claremore, Oklahoma. Other survivors include many aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
Services for Vida will take place at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, at Grand Lake Baptist Church, 1531 98th St. NW in Grove.
Visitation is set for 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Nichols Funeral Home, 9611 US Hwy 59 in Grove.
Graveside services will be held immediately after the funeral at Olympus Cemetery North in Grove.
Donations in Vida’s memory may be sent to the Rotary Wheelchair Program, PO Box 452286, Grove, OK 74345; Checks payable to: American Wheelchair Mission.
Arrangements entrusted to Nichols Funeral & Cremation Services, Grove. Online condolences may be made at www.nicholsfuneralandcremation.com