Allene Lois (Dibbert) Howard, 70, of Greenbank, went to be with her Heavenly Father near dawn on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at her home, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Allene was born on July 26, 1947 in Yakima, Wash. She was the fourth child of Allen “Butch” and Lois (Steckel) Dibbert.
Allene was raised in Yakima, along with one sister and two brothers. She worked after school for McCormick Floral and graduated valedictorian of her 1965 class at A.C. Davis High School.
After graduating from Yakima Business College in 1966, she moved to Seattle and later found her dream job working at the UW Child Development Center.
In 1968, she married her high school sweetheart, Bill Howard in Yakima. After Bill graduated from UW, they moved back to Yakima, and had two children, daughter Jennifer and son Karl.
In 1978, Bill and Allene decided they wanted to live a rural country lifestyle, and moved to a split-level ranch home on 7 1/2 acres in Cowiche, Wash.
They raised their children there, and enjoyed gardening, a small orchard, growing hay and many animals, including horses, cows, chickens, cats and several dogs. Allene worked tirelessly caring for their home and her family, and made the choice that was near to her heart, to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.
After Jennifer and Karl left home, Bill and Allene returned to Yakima. During this time, Allene made the decision to earn her college degree. She graduated from Yakima Valley Community College with an associate of arts degree in 1998, and from Heritage College with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 2001. She worked for a time with women at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health.
The Lord had other plans for them, however. During a quick getaway trip to Whidbey Island, Allene and Bill fell in love with the island’s peace and beauty. They eventually purchased property overlooking the water and began building their dream home. For several years, their Whidbey house served as a weekend retreat. Once they retired in 2009, they made Whidbey their permanent, full-time home. Their place served as an idyllic refuge for them and their family.
They devoted their time to reading, gardening, feeding and attracting many varieties of birds and relishing the view of Saratoga Passage and the Cascades.
Their home served as a gathering place for many special times with family. It was during this time that Allene and Bill also adopted their beloved Sheltie, Toby.
Allene’s faith was always an integral and critical part of who she was. Early in her marriage, Allene studied The Bethel Series as a student, pursued the teacher/discipleship training, and finally became a full-fledged Bethel teacher. Later on, Allene became involved in Bible study fellowship, first as a student, then as a discussion leader. Allene’s faith was strong, firmly rooted in God’s Word and in Jesus Christ. Her love for the Lord was plain to see in the way she lived her life.
Allene’s other loves included her husband Bill, to whom she was devoted. They were constant companions and thought of themselves as a single unit, rather than as individuals.
She was also dedicated to her family, and spent much of her time as a companion to her beloved mother Lois, as well as with her children and their families.
She had a deep appreciation of nature and enjoyed many years hiking, camping, picnicking, huckleberry-picking, caring for her flowers (especially roses) and bird-watching. She delighted in the Anna’s hummingbirds that visited her feeders year-round.
One of her favorite getaways was to Mount Rainier, with the smell of wildflowers in the wind.
Allene is lovingly survived by her husband Bill, of Greenbank; her daughter Jennifer Adams and her husband Tylon of Birch Bay; her son Karl Howard and his wife Rose Braden of Portland; one brother, Lee Dibbert and his wife Barbara of Yakima; and one sister, Cheryl Swenson and her husband Carl of Vancouver; two grandsons, Travis Adams of Birch Bay and Grant Howard of Portland; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Bruce Dibbert.
A private committal service will be held at Terrace Heights Memorial Park, followed by a private family memorial service at Brookside Funeral Home in Moxee on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.
The family wishes to thank the staffs of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care for their loving care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle c/o Brookside Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1267 Moxee, Wash, 98936. To share a memory with the family, please visit www.brooksidefhc.com