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Ann Laura Firminger Howard

1945 - 2018 Notice Condolences
Ann Laura Firminger Howard Notice
03/20/1945 – 05/14/2018 The family will receive friends at the Bryan-Lee Funeral Home in Raleigh, NC on Friday May 18, 2018 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm prior to a graveside service at Montlawn Memorial Park in Raleigh, NC. Ann is survived by her sisters Carol J. Feeney and Barbara Firminger and by her husband of 50 years Kenneth L. Howard, Jr. She was preceeded in death by her parents Dr, Harlan I. Firminger and Mrs. Jane H. Firminger. Ann was a graduate of Friends School of Baltimore and Boston-Bouve College of Tufts and Northeastern Universities in 1967. Following graduation she married her husband Ken, and they embarked upon a life of discovery and fulfillment of their dreams. Ann began a career in teaching in Orinda, CA while Ken finished his doctorate. In the ensuing years they moved to Butte, MT, Yerington, NV, Missoula, MT, Reno, NV, Osbourne, ID, Franktown, CO and finally to Raleigh, NC where they resided for the past 27 years. Through various moves, she changed careers and applied her artistic talent to become an accomplished geologic draftsman for mining and oil companies and as part of the business that she and Ken founded in 1986 to mine gold and sapphires. Despite her small size (4 feet 11 1/8 inches) Ann was an accomplished horsewoman based on her teenage association with the Humane Society in Reisterstown, MD and dreamed of having her own horses. She fulfilled that dream in her years in Nevada and Colorado riding English pleasure and jumping horses in many competitions. Her husband shared her passion and showed in Western riding events. Together they shared their horses and travelled together throughout the Western United States and Canada as part of their professional careers. Despite a serious brain injury in a horseback riding accident, Ann recovered and rehabilitated to ride again. She gave up riding upon moving to Raleigh after the death of her beloved jumping horse and focused her efforts on supporting Ken's careers in environmental sciences and college teaching. She focused her life on her home, gardens, and yard, but never lost her gift for working with animals. Often strays sought her out and she adopted and cherished them. In 1994 she suffered a series of strokes sparked by a tumor in her heart. She survived open heart surgery and months of rehabilitation to once again live a productive and fulfilling life with numerous trips and joint projects with Ken. Despite her many physical and mental setbacks, her personality and smile remained infectious to the end. She will be remembered for her many talents and skills, and as a companion and helpmate. Ann was truly blessed to have reached for and attained her "impossible dreams." On Monday last, she gave her "last ounce of courage" to reach the "unreachable star." In lieu of flowers, please donate in memory of Ann to the Humane Society of the United States. To contribute via the website (www.humanesociety.org) click on "Ways to Give" and "Make a Memorial Donation" To contribute by mail, please send a personal check or money order made payable to The HSUS to: The Humane Society of the United States 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450 Washington, DC 20037 Online condolences may be made to the family at www.bryan-leefuneralhome.com
Published in Baltimore Sun on May 17, 2018
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