Dorothy Mary Cook Howell July 27, 1924-April 19, 2012 Dorothy Howell, 87, of Santa Maria, California, was born to William L. Cook and Mary Maxam Cook July 27, 1924, in Yorkville, New York. She is predeceased by her parents, sisters Jeanette Cook and Charlene Cook, and husband, Raymond Harry Howell in 1999.
Dorothy enjoyed music and played the French horn professionally in New York. She composed music for the symphony as well. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Medical Biology and worked in that field. She attended Union Theological Seminary (1964-1966) in New York City and was commissioned as a Lay Minister in 1976. When Ray retired from the New York State Hospital in Binghamton in 1976, they moved to Lompoc to be near family, then in 1984, moved to Santa Maria. While in Lompoc she was a Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol at Vandenberg AFB. She served several congregations in New York, Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria as Lay Minister, Director of Education at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, and as Chaplain at Merrill Gardens. There she headed several support groups and wrote Alzheimer and computer training books for the elderly and handicapped.
Dorothy believed in lifelong learning and with failing sight at age 61, got an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science from Allan Hancock College and went on to teach children and adults. She was a technology enthusiast her whole life. At 76, she received her Master of Divinity degrees in Chaplaincy, Counselor and Ministerial License. She served God and his people in many capacities through a long and fruitful life.
Dorothy will rest in peace by Ray at Westmoreland Cemetery in Westmoreland, New York. A Memorial Service will honor her life and dedication to God at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 3945 South Bradley Road., Santa Maria, California at 1 PM on May 8, 2012. Donations may be made in her honor to Marian Medical Center Foundation Cancer Care Services or Compassion International.