Friday, 19 July 2024

Shirley Howland

Shirley Howland. Courtesy photo.


Shirley May Howland
March 26, 1929 to Sept. 7, 2023

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Shirley Howland was born in Sacramento on March 26, 1929, and was raised in Oakland, the only child of Arthur and Neva Howland.

Her parents bought a summer cabin in Clearlake where she learned to sail with her father, later winning many races as the lone female entrant.

This sparked her lifelong passion for sailing and took her on many trips including to the Caribbean, Hawaii and New Zealand.

She graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1950 and began her career in teaching in the Bay Area.

She never lost her love of Clearlake, visiting often, and eventually moving back to the expanded cottage of her childhood.

She was a strong and remarkable woman, a trailblazer, who cared deeply about social issues including peace and justice.

She stood firmly against war and for climate change action. She became a vocal supporter of the rights of the citizens of Clearlake and online searches will still find many of her strongly worded letters to the editor.

As a long-time member of the Lake County Democrats, she worked to elect women to local office, and never missed a chance to set up a voter registration table or help a stray animal. She had a strong cadre of friends who supported her to the end.

In 2019, the Lake County Silver Foundation honored her with its Inspirational Senior Award at its Senior Summit.

In 2021, she sold her house in Clearlake, gave up her beloved Prius and moved to the Edelweiss Guest Home in Lakeport where she was lovingly cared for.

She died gracefully at Rocky Point on Sept. 7, 2023, after a brief stay at Sutter Lakeside Hospital. She will be sorely missed.

In her honor, please consider modeling her courage, commitment and perseverance in speaking up for what is right.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. at the Kelseyville United Methodist Church located at 3810 Main St.


Shirley Howland learned to sail on Clear Lake with her father, Arthur Howland. Courtesy photo.

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