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Bertha

Bertha M. Howard

Bertha Mae Howard took her flight on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Bertha Mae Pecolia Howard (Neé Crawford) was born to John and Alma Crawford, the 10th of 13 children on May 5, 1932. She was born in McDuffie County in Thomson, Georgia. Bertha gave her life to Christ at a very early age; she attended the Baptist church with her mother on 1st Sundays and the Methodist church on 2nd Sundays with her father.

Bertha moved to Columbus, Ohio in the early 1950’s to stay with her older sister Clairbell. She later met and married Henry (Slim) Howard in 1954; ironically, he was born and raised in Norwood, GA about 20-25 minutes away from where she was born and raised. Their High Schools were rivals but they didn’t meet until they both moved North.

Bertha began her family and was totally devoted to her children and other children in the neighborhood. Nothing and no one came before her children; not even employment. She briefly worked for St. Rita’s Nursing Home but concerned about her children’s care, she became a homemaker. Bertha loved children and took in many over the years providing them a place to stay or a warm meal. There was always an extra kid at the dinner table. On two separate occasions there were 10 children being raised by her due to a family emergency.

In 1968 with all her children in school all day she began her employment with Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital; eventually becoming a supervisor in the kitchen. She remained in that position for 25 years until her retirement in 1994.

Bertha was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians (Guardians), Atlanta Braves, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. She was an AWESOME cook! It was once said by one of her grandchildren “Grandma can cook her face off”! She loved to bake and was a great baker as well. Above everything, she loved to serve and many families at Oakley have benefited from that faithful service. She had a servant’s heart, was very kind and loving. She was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church until moving to the Hilltop in the early 60’s.

She moved her membership to Oakley Baptist Church under the late Rev. Julian Ashburn. She submitted herself to the various leadership changes through the years. Bertha loved Bishop Herman D. Ware and her Oakley family; she was a member of 53 years and served faithfully as a Deaconess for 40 plus years until her health began to decline. She was recently ordained as one of the “Church Mothers” of which she was extremely proud. She had her certificate proudly displayed in her room at the nursing facility.

Bertha was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Louise (Lonnie deceased), Clairbell (Elijah deceased), Annie Sue (Reesie deceased), Mary Lee (Doanes), brothers Neal (Clara deceased), Anthony, Floyd, Hollie, Horace, Willie James, and Eddie (Shirley).

She will be cherished and dearly missed by her loving children, Elder Teresa (Jeremiah) Carter Sr., Minister Melvin (Deanna), Elder Christopher (Barbara), Minister Timothy (Shari) Howard, Cynthia Miller, and Shelia Brady; Grandchildren, Julia (Shawn) Chavis, Qiana Magwood, Sycoú Russell, Santanna, Wenona, Jozef (Isella), Nola, Amanda Howard, Angela Washington, Shauna Hanks, Schylen Hanks, Sierra Hanks, Dontá Smith, Kachéra Phillips, and Maurice Brady; 30 Great Grandchildren, 9 Great Great Grandchildren, Sister Ida (James deceased) Demons, a host of adopted children, nieces, nephews, cousins, special friends, Diane Phillips, Dollene Scott, Ruth Staples, Opal Walker, Marsha Woods; and other friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bertha M. Howard, please visit our flower store.

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