Jean McPherson Howard, 97, a mother of two, friend to many and loving wife for 77 years to Dr. Woods A. Howard, died Dec. 17 at her home in Lantana, with her husband by her side.

Jean used her natural business acumen –- she was a whiz with numbers — and organizational skills to manage the family’s business affairs while her husband practiced medicine in Texas and later in Lakeland, where Dr. Howard worked as an allergist for the Watson Clinic.

Had she lived in a different generation, Jean probably would have become a manager in the corporate world.

She loved to laugh and enjoyed overseas travel and many friends – including lifelong friends met while attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she met Woods Howard and later married him on campus in December 1944.

During her university years, friends nicknamed her “Mac-P” based on her maiden name, McPherson.
Jean was born June 16, 1924, in Roanoke, Va., to Estelle and Eugene McPherson. Growing up as an only child, she moved around the country, spending many of her formative years in Birmingham, Ala., and later in Waco, Texas, where she graduated from high school.
She had many fond memories of childhood summers spent in the small Central Texas town of Hubbard with her cousin, Lowell Wilkes, and other members of the Wilkes family.

Jean and her family were members of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland, where she served many years on the alter guild.

Jean was a devoted mother and showered her four grandsons and her great granddaughter with love and support.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Woods A. Howard of Lantana; son James Howard and his wife Pamela of Houston; son William Howard and his wife Jean of West Palm Beach; four grandsons Zachary Howard of Houston, Benjamin Howard and his wife, Dakota, of Berlin, Germany, Samuel, and Maxwell Howard of West Palm Beach; and one great granddaughter, Bella Marquez of Houston.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for a later date in Lakeland. Heath Funeral Chapel in Lakeland is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

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