After a short illness, Margaret G. Howk, 93, passed away peacefully in Fairbanks on March 18, 2013. Margaret was born in Victoria, British Columbia on Nov. 22, 1919, to Scottish immigrants, Norman and Mary (McCleod) Murray.
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They raised Margaret and her three brothers in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories. Norman was a shipwright on the sternwheeler that traveled the Yukon River.
During the war, Margaret worked in a children's hospital near Victoria. She later returned home to Whitehorse where she met her future husband, Evans E. Howk.
Evans, an American tech sergeant in the Army Engineers, was building the Alaska Highway. After he was transferred from the Alaska Highway to the Aleutian Campaign, Margaret and Evans began a long courtship through letters and were later married in Chilliwack, British Columbia, on Sept, 19, 1944.
In 1946, Margaret and their firstborn, Murray, traveled by bus via the Alaska Highway, to join Evans in Fairbanks where he was working with N.C. Machinery. After moving to Alaska, she kept in touch with her Canadian friends and family and always spoke proudly of her Scottish and Canadian heritage. Margaret had a special place in her heart for her Canadian nephew, Don Murray, who sadly passed away unexpectedly in December 2012.
Margaret became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the 1950s, and later worked at the post office, Nordale School and the state elections office. She was a volunteer for many organizations including Eastern Star, Rebecca's Lodge and Rainbow Girls.
Margaret and Evans were active in the Pioneers of Alaska and were former Pioneers of Alaska King and Queen Regents. She was a loyal Alaska Nanooks hockey fan and never missed a radio broadcast.
Her years in Fairbanks were filled with helping her husband build their home on Minnie Street, raising her three children, and enjoying her time at their cabin on the Salcha River. She later helped her husband with a fishing charter business in Valdez and enjoyed traveling overseas extensively to see many parts of the world.
Margaret was blessed with a sharp wit, a wonderful sense of humor and a compassion for others.
Margaret leaves behind many longtime and new friends, many of whom reside at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home where she lived since 2011. Margaret will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Evans, and daughter, Gail Scibor.
She is survived by her sons, Murray Howk (Kris) and Robert Howk; son-in-law, Michael Scibor; grandchildren, Wendy Callis (Nate), Lance Howk (Angela), Emily Drygas (Erik), Audra Accola (Brian), Kristin Sherwood (Wally), Jennifer Howk, Eric Howk (Gina); and nine great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Margaret's life will be held for family and friends from
2-3:30 p.m. April 5, 2013, at the Pioneers' Home, in Fairbanks.
A special thank you to the caring staff of the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Pioneers' Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a
, in honor of Margaret's memory.
Arrangements entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Mar. 27, 2013