SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Beverly Ann Howe-Merrill


April 21, 2008

Beverly Ann Howe-Merrill passed away on April 6th, 2008 in Ava, Missouri at the home of her parents Charles and Betty Howe. She was born in Clinton, OK on September 20, 1960 and lived in Ava from 1960 to 1975 when the family moved to Tallahassee, FL. She graduated from Lincoln High School there in 1978.
jpg Beverly Ann Howe-Merrill

Her spirit of adventure and urge to travel took her to Alexandria, VA, Monterey, CA, Key West and Maui. In the early summer of 1991, Bev and her brother Brian headed to Alaska to "see the sights". Alaska was the only state she hadn't visited and it couldn't remain unexplored. They settled in Juneau when their traveling money ran out. Beverly continued her travels and moved back to Maui from 1992 to 1996.

She returned to Juneau and started working for the Alaska Marine Highway System. In 2002, Beverly met her soon-to-be husband Paul Merrill who was a Deck Officer on the State Ferries. They were wed in Maui on April 29th, 2006 and made their home in Bellingham, WA.

In their short but precious time together, they shared many memories. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in February 2005, fought a brave battle, and never complained. She made the best of all the time she had by traveling and visiting friends and family, who she cherished above all else.

Her brother Bob described her best: A friend to all who knew her, and loved by everyone.

She will be missed deeply.

Beverly is survived by: Her husband Paul Merrill of Bellingham, WA. Her parents Charles (Bud) and Betty Howe of Ava, MO. Brothers Robert, his wife Kathy and his children Amy and Calen of Morrisville, MO, Brian, his wife Michelle and daughters Jennifer and Erin of Anchorage, AK, and Barton and his wife Debbie and son Tyler of Warrensburg, MO.

In keeping with Beverly's wishes, she will be cremated and her ashes will be spread in Maui. Paul would like to thank their many, many dear friends who were supportive to Bev and him since the beginning and to this day.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Memorial of Beverly with your local Cancer Support Group.


A Tribute to Our Beverly
~A Friend to All Who Knew Her~

Brother Paul called the other day
With his heart in his throat,
Beverly had taken a turn for the worse
And he needed to get her home.
We discussed the options and made a plan
And soon Bart and I were there,
To help our brother take Sis home
Where her family could be near.
They'd planned to come down later,
But the cancer would no longer wait
For three years we'd all been struggling with this,
Hoping somehow she'd cheat fate.
We all knew down deep inside
That it was just a matter of time,
Now time was closing in on us
We had no time to wait.
We loaded up the van, provided by a friend
And prepared to start our journey
The journey we didn't want to end.
As Paul loaded up the final items
We'd need to get her through
Emotion filled his heart, as he looked around their place
He realized that upon his return
He'd not see or touch her face
The home they'd built together would then be just his
As we started off upon our journey, taking turns behind the wheel,
We knew inside that we weren't driving,
Our Beverly had the till'.
From Washington to Missouri, seven states in all,
She kept us pushing onward, in our duty we couldn't fall
Though she was barely conscious, her spirit remained strong
She wanted to see her family one last time,
She knew she didn't have long
Family was most important to her, and though we were seldom together
Brother Brian was coming soon, depending on the weather.
For he was coming from Alaska, another journey long --
She wanted to see him again, before she at last was gone
We pulled into our parent's driveway, our journey now was done,
That night we made her comfortable, and waited for the morn
The next day Brian arrived, Bev's family was now complete.
We all gathered around her bed, from her head to her feet-
Surrounded by her family, in a room full of tears
We watched our Beverly fade away, after 47 years
Those 47 years of life were filled with love and laughter
Hers was such a gentle soul, which is now gone from usforever.
She had a short but full life, leaving friends from Coast to Coast,
Her loving heart and gentle touch is what we'll miss the most.
So many lessons we could learn, from how she led her life,
She was so much more than a daughter, sister, and wife.
She touched so many people with her kind and gentle way,
She was always there to be a friend
No matter what time, or what day.
She knew that tomorrow was just a promise, today is all we have
She lived her life with kindness and love, and never an angry word.
She had a loving impact on all who crossed her path,
She never responded with anger or wrath.
She lived so much in her life
And made friends along the way.
Through these friends and family
Beverly's memory lives, and will never fade away.

Robert Howe - April 2008


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Ketchikan, Alaska