It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our daughter, Rachel Lee Howell. Born on Dec. 18, 1986, Rachel left this world on April 28, 2013 in College Park, Md. Rachel graduated from Oñate High School in 2005, New Mexico State University in 2011 and was scheduled to receive her master's degree from University of Maryland in two weeks. At UMD, Rachel served as a co-facilitator for Women to Women, an LGBT group on campus and worked at Hornbake Library in Special Collections. Rachel had begun training and running in 5K events and was always an enthusiastic and supportive participant of Gay Pride activities. Her family and all those whose lives she touched will remember her quick smile, generous heart, vibrant enthusiasm for music, movies and books she loved and her exuberant laugh. We will forever keep in our hearts the love and friendship she gave us. We have been touched by the memorials given in honor of Rachel by her circle of friends in Maryland and Las Cruces. The stories and tears they have shared with us have eased our pain and made us smile to know how much Rachel loved and was loved by so many. For many years Rachel courageously fought the disease of depression, but her final battle became too much for her. We know she has finally found her peace in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior. Rachel's ashes will be taken to the family cabin in Gustavus, Alaska that was Rachel's favorite place in this world and where she always found her peace. Rachel is survived by a multitude of friends, extended family, her parents, Jon and Julie and her brothers, Jesse and Matt. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations may be made to the Sexual & Gender Diversity Resource Center through the NMSU Foundation. This can be done through the NMSU Foundation at PO Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003-3590 or their webpage at foundation.nmsu.edu under "Ways to Give" and "Honorary/Memorial Gifts" and specifying the Sexual & Gender Diversity Resource Center. A memorial service will be held at Morning Star United Methodist Church, Roadrunner Avenue, Las Cruces on Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on May 8, 2013