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Elizabeth Buckingham Howard


1909 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Elizabeth Buckingham Howard Obituary

January 9, 1909 - December 26, 2015 Elizabeth "Betty" Howard passed away December 26, 2015, a few weeks shy of her 107th birthday. She was born January 9, 1909 to Charles and Agnes Curtiss Buckingham in Watertown, Connecticut. Her childhood could only be considered idyllic, spent with her siblings John, Anne and Nancy, who predecease her. She attended Westover School in Middlebury, CT and Miss Risser's School in Rome, Italy in 1925, becoming fluent in the Italian language. She married her "beau" Nelson Howard on July 12, 1929 in Watertown and they promptly took a ship to California through the Panama Canal to settle in Pasadena, CA. She took her two daughters back to Watertown to live while Nelson was in the Navy during WWII. Her civic activities were many, including the Junior League of Pasadena, The Girls Club of Pasadena and Santa Barbara, Planned Parenthood, Children's Hospital, the Board of Kenmore Fredericksburg, VA, President of the Braille Institute of Santa Barbara, American Red Cross Board, and the Ration Board during WWII. She and Nelson migrated to Santa Barbara where they owned a beach house in 1968. They were very a vibrant duo there, as well, and she honed her bridge, golf, fly fishing, and needlepoint skills during these years. She loved to read and entertain, learned to fly a plane and traveled to dozens of countries during their retirement years. They enjoyed their lives immensely with a host of great friends. Nelson, her husband of 76 years, passed away in 2005 at age 99 at Casa Dorinda retirement community where they lived together for 34 years. Her greatest joy was her family and she was a bona fide baby whisperer. Alisal Ranch in Solvang was the setting for many anniversary celebrations, for which the entire family gathered and honored them almost annually. Betty is predeceased by her husband Nelson Arthur Howard, Jr., daughter and son-in-law Joan and Lee Sammis of Newport Beach, and granddaughter Caroline Sammis. She is survived by daughter, Natalie Anne Howard of Los Angeles and her children, Holmes Erwin Penn III and Natalie Penn Hodges, her grandchildren Diana Sammis Brookes, Virginia Lee Sammis, and Anne Elizabeth Sammis. Great grandchildren Chelsea Beck Sellem, Savannah Julia Beck, Sammis Nelson Gayner, Cassidy Caroline Gayner, Joanna Buckingham Brookes, Christina Valentine Brookes, Lillie Grace Hodges, Michelle DeForest Brookes and Alena Lucia Arrigo and two great great grandchildren also survive her and will remember her as a wonderful loving great grandmother and a vital part of the extraordinary team of "Nannie and Papa" Howard. They were responsible for so many of the great memories of their childhoods. A host of nieces and nephews and their progeny also remember her with affection. In lieu of flowers, she requested that donations be made to Planned Parenthood, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara and the Braille Institute of Santa Barbara. A private service will be held in 2016.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 29 to Dec. 30, 2015
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