Hower, Eileen M.
Eileen M. Hower, 51, of Mifflin Township, passed away Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, at her residence after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was born Dec. 30, 1960 in Suffern, NY, a daughter to William J. and Barbara Walton Murphy. Eileen earned a Bachelors degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, a Masters degree from Marywood University and was working toward a DMA at Boston University. Eileen had taught general music and conducted the choirs of Central Columbia Middle School in Bloomsburg, PA for 18 years, during which time she won Teacher of the Year award in 1995. Her choruses won many awards and recognition at the state and national level. She was a member of MENC and ACDA and was previously president of ACDA-PA. Eileen was a member of the faculty at the Bloomsburg University Department of Music Education.
Eileen's passion for music and education lives on through the many colleagues, students and friends whose lives she touched. Many students credit her for making a difference in their lives because she believed in them and saw their potential. Her luminous personality and radiant smile lit up the room wherever she went. Running, hiking and gardening also brought joy to her life. She attended St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mifflinville.
She was a devoted wife and mother. Surviving Eileen are her husband of 14 years, William; sons, Christopher Bickford of Ithaca, NY, and Robert Bickford of Philadelphia, PA; father, William Murphy, husband of Lynda of South Acworth, NH; mother, Barbara Murphy of Peterborough, NH; four brothers, James Murphy, husband of Jamie of Alameda, CA, William Murphy, husband of Kelly of Ferrisburgh, VT, Terence Murphy of Peterborough, NH, and Timothy Murphy, husband of Lourdes of Clifton, NJ; two sisters, Kathleen Murphy and her partner, Ken Beaudry of South Gastonbury, CT, and Maureen Rossi of Scottsdale, AZ; and 15 nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held from 5-9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at the McMichael-Rairigh & Baker Funeral Home, Inc., 119-121 East Third St., Berwick, PA. Her funeral is 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 1600 Fowler Ave., Berwick. Friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of the service. Rev. Joshua Reinsburrow, Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Mifflinville, will serve as the officiant. Contributions can be made to the Eileen Hower Memorial Fund for Music Education. Please make check payable to Bloomsburg University Foundation, Eileen Hower Memorial Fund, 400 East 2nd St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.