Virginia “Ginny” Howley, 89, of Crystal Lake died peacefully in her sleep on March 16, 2020. She was born on March 13, 1931 in Fargo, North Dakota to Francis and Lorenze (nee Denis) Tritchler. She married Charles “Joe” Howley in 1951 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Fargo where they met a few months prior. She was the loving mother of Mark Howley, Kathleen (Tim) Wodetzki, Nancy Howley, Matt Howley, and John Howley; cherished grandmother of Anne and Jennifer Wodetzki, Jennings and Lani Anderson, Michele (Elio) Vento, Brendan Howley, and Jacob Howley; beloved sister, Marguirete Dunn. She was preceded in death by two beloved sons, Joseph “Joey” and Paul Howley; her loving husband, Joe Howley; her beloved brother, Philip; and her beloved sister, Mary Jean.
Ginny was a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She taught catechism classes, was co-chairman of Creative Hands art and craft shop, sang in the choir, and was a member of St. Jude Rosary Guild with dear friends.
Ginny regularly engaged in acts of selfless devotion and was kind and loving. She was active in the community. She was an artist, an interior decorator, and was uniquely creative. She ran Virginia Howley Designs and Interiors for over 35 years. She would paint portraits of local homes often seen with her easel in the front yard. She would transform ordinary tin items and weathered wood pieces into painted toleware that she sold at craft fairs. Her tool, paint, and fabric collections were vast. She became the Director of Interior Design at the Dole Mansion. She was a dog lover with her favorite being a mutt named Shemp. She would tie his leash to the door handle of St. Thomas on Pierson St. Church where he would patiently wait while she often attended daily mass there. She enjoyed stories so scary as to “curl your hair”. She loved to make fudge and watch the Twilight Zone. She loved to make plate sized French pancakes and would eat none herself until all others were full. She would listen to stations that played the Byrds and the Doors while driving. She always made things fun. She was the best wife, mom, grandmother, and friend anyone could ever have.
She lived a good life and died a good death. She left behind many who love her and is now home with God and all the Souls of the Faithful Departed.
Her family expresses thanks to the staff at the Gardens in Crystal Lake for the compassionate care she received there.
Funeral Mass and Interment will be held privately at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church for the family.
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