Floral 08

Charlene Hiatt Howland

July 18, 1929 ~ January 27, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Charlene Howland Obituary

Charlene Hiatt Howland, 94, passed away Jan. 27, 2024, in Granger, Indiana. Char was born July 18, 1929, in Evanston, Illinois, to Charles and Dorothy Hiatt.

She graduated from Evanston Township High School and made many lifelong friends in the Chicago suburb, especially among the “bloody dozen.”

After ETHS, she went to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Life would never be the same after she met a young man from the south side of Chicago in an arts and literature class.

Char and Chuck would marry and spend the first year together in “the shacks,” as the married student housing was called at Knox. Chuck still served as president of Phi Delta Theta. Their first child, Diane, was born there and was in attendance for Chuck’s graduation.

They later moved to Northbrook, Illinois. Debbie was born, then Roy. The family then moved to Wilmette, Illinois, and added Chick and Scott to the brood.

The big brick house on Seneca Road was full of life, with Char at the core, meeting the children’s every need with devotion and unconditional love.

But it was later, as the children grew, that she offered, through example, perhaps the most meaningful lessons. Not just for the children, but for the 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren that would follow.

Char returned to teaching at Willow Wood Preschool, and later would become the school’s director, helping to shape countless young lives. She found the work “so rewarding,” she said recently, “guiding little ones in their social and emotional development.”

But there was a bigger lesson. To become director, Char felt it was important to get her master’s degree. So in her late 50s she returned to the classroom.

She didn’t discuss it, but through her example she was teaching her children and grandchildren that it is never too late for anything. She was an avid reader, gardener, tennis player, bridge player and musician, playing the piano, flute and accordion — and still taking piano lessons late in life. She didn’t want to miss out on anything, keeping up with technology. Texts from greatgrandma, sprinkled with emojis, were not unusual. And her iPad kept her busy and her mind sharp late in life when her mobility was limited.

Char loved the warm sunshine, spending time in her garden or enjoying the view on the deck or pier of the family’s beloved Indian Lake cottage in southwest Michigan. In addition to her parents, Char was preceded in death by her husband, Chuck, and her brothers, Gregg and Neil.

Survivors include her five children, Diane (Sean), Debbie, Roy (Virginia), Chick (Kathy) and Scott (Marlene).

Visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at McGann Hay, Granger Chapel, 13260 Indiana 23; enter off Cherry Road.

Funeral  services will follow, beginning at 3 p.m. The funeral will be live-streamed through Zoom.

To watch on Zoom, click here:

McGann Hay is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Funeral for Charlene Howland 
Time: Feb 2, 2024 03:00 PM America/Indiana/Indianapolis

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Meeting ID: 985 903 9170
Passcode: 972744


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Gathering of Family and Friends
February 2, 2024

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
McGann-Hay, Granger Chapel
13260 SR 23 at Cherry Road
Granger, IN 46530

Funeral Service
February 2, 2024

3:00 PM
McGann-Hay, Granger Chapel
13260 SR 23 at Cherry Road
Granger, IN 46530


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