Avis I. Howard, 74, died of natural causes at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 , in the Bremen Health Care Center , Bremen , Ind. She was born the daughter of August and Ruth Emmons Renz, in LaPaz , Ind. , on May 20, 1928 . She graduated from LaPaz High School . On April 1, 1953 , in Plymouth , Ind. , Avis and John J. Howard were married. John died on June 26, 1993. Avis was a manager at Norwesco, a cook at the Chuck Wagon Restaurant and later, a member of the dietary staff at the Koala Center, Plymouth, retiring in 1993. She loved flowers and did a lot of gardening in her younger years. After retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren. She loved to read and play cards. She collected statues and photographs of birds and enjoyed bird watching in her yard. Avis is survived by three sons and two daughters and their families: 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her sons and their wives are Joe and Beverly Cooley, Rochester , Ind. , Dan and Raelene Cooley, Warsaw , Ind. , and Jack Howard, Etna Green , Ind. Ruth and Sandro Sickmiller, Tippecanoe, Ind., and JoAnn and William Martin, Bourbon, Ind., are her daughters. Four brothers; Ronald Renz, James Renz, August Renz, Jr. and Elwood and Kay Renz, survive as well. Avis was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, John, a son, Robert Cooley and a daughter, Debra Howard. Three sisters, Marcella Zupin, Opal Wade and Ivis Holderread, have also died. Visitation with the family will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2003, in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. Funeral services for Avis will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2003, in the funeral home. The Rev. Mike Dixon, pastor of the Inwood United Methodist Church, will officiate. Interment will be in Eagle Creek Cemetery, Knox, Ind. Memorial gifts in Avis’ memory may be made to the Marshall County Hospice.
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