GASTONIA - Bennie Joe Michael Howe, 83, passed away peacefully on Feb. 3, 2013, at Covenant Village.
A native of Gaston County, she was the daughter of the late Frank Curtis Michael and Lillian Jackson Atkins Michael.
Bennie Joe was passionate about music and spent over 35 years as a private music teacher, well loved by her students. She graduated with a music degree from Salem College and also studied violin two summers at Julliard in Boston Conservatory of Music. She was past president of Sharps & Flats Music Club, Gaston Music Education Foundation and past president of NC Federation Music Club and was an advocate of strings in schools. She played violin with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Western Piedmont Symphony. She played violin in a local quartet, performing at many local weddings. She was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia, where she served as a deacon.
Survivors include her sons, Curtis Howe of Greensboro, Johnny Howe of Charlotte, Jamie Howe and wife, Beth of Greensboro; daughter, Laura Howe of Eagle, CO; grandchildren, Daniel Howe, Shaun Howe, Brittani Howe, Josiah Howe, Zach Howe, Jessica Portillo and Zach Miller; great grandson, Henry Portillo; sister, Ruth Day Dickson and husband, Dub of Gastonia; numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dan Charlton Howe; son, Charlton Howe; brothers, Curtis Michael and Atkins Michael
A service to celebrate her life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. John L. Frye Jr. and Pastor John H. Stanley officiating.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday at Covenant Village and from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia.
A family committal will be held at Hollywood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gaston Music Education Foundation, 3007 Courtland Dr., Gastonia, NC 28056.
The Howe family would like to extend a special thank you to Covenant Village nurses and staff for all of the wonderful care and love given to our mother.
Condolences may be sent online by visiting www.mcleanfuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Howe family.