Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Monday, October 01, 2007 at 14:11:32 :
October 13, 1987
Descendant of Marin philanthropist killed in Burma crash
Ellen Kent Howard, granddaughter of the late William Kent, an early day Marin philanthropist, was among 49 killed Sunday in a plane crash in Burma.
Howard, 56, a Menlo Park artist, was the granddaughter of Kent and of John Galen Howard, a prominent architect who designed the campanile and other buildings at the University of California at Berkeley.
Her parents were the late Adaline Kent Howard and Robert B. Howard, both well-known sculptors.
Also aboard were Edith Dalle-Feste, a 60-year-old Kentfield travel agent, and Julie Butler, 45, who was known in Marin during the early 1970s for her work to free her husband from a Vietnamese prison. Butler had lived in Calistoga for 10 years but lived in San Rafael during her prisoner-of-war work. She had arranged to take the trip with Reeves James Jacques and his wife, Carolyn Volk Jacques, two friends from her days at Stanford University. Butlerís husband did not accompany them.
Howard was part of a group organized by Dalle-Feste that was planning to visit temples in Burma and Tibet.
The Burma Airways jetliner caught fire and crashed near the ancient capital of pagan, about 300 miles north of Rangoon.
A memorial service for Howard will be held at St. Johnís Episcopal Church in Ross. The time has not yet been set.
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The Sierra Club Yodeler
Ellen Kent Howard 1931 Ė 1987
Ellenís many friends are mourning her tragic death October 11, in a plane crash in Burma. She, with a group of largely Bay Area people, had toured Tibet and were on the Burma leg of the Asia trip when their plane went down in Monsoon weather.
This was not a Sierra Club outing, though Ellen would go on club overseas trips frequently. She took every opportunity to travel in search of new experiences and inspiration. She was an artist and the daughter of artists. Her parents were noted sculptors Robert Howard, who created the black granite whales at San Franciscoís Academy of Sciences, and Adaline Kent Howard, whose statuary of fawns and other gentle animals stand in gardens throughout California.
Ellen joined the Sierra Club as a young girl, and was closely devoted to it all her life. Her ardent conservation feelings were nurtured also by family. Her maternal grandparents, the pioneer Kent family of Marin County, knew and admired John Muir. One of their legacies, established in Muirís memory, was the preservation of Muir Woods as a national monument.
Ellen enjoyed the mountains as a member of about every form of outing the Sierra Club offers, but her fondest attachment was with the Knapsack Subcommittee of the national outings where she was a leader of backpack trips for nearly two decades. This spring she was recognized for her 15 years of unbroken leader service. She organized and led art appreciation outings, Juniors trips and conventional and Leisure backpacks. Ellen seized on any opportunity to be helpful to the program, performing, for example, as that groupís recording secretary for 16 years. She leaves a sadness in the lives of a family of fellow leaders.
Her life touched many, and her love of the mountains and natural beauty everywhere was infectious. She is remembered for her sweet disposition, tireless enthusiasm and loyal support to all with whom she was associated.
Ellenís family has approved of a memorial fund which has been set up at the Wells Fargo Bank, City Center Office, 1345 Broadway, Oakland 94612. Contributions, when turned over to the club, will provide a perpetual memorial in Ellenís name dedicated to training outing leaders. Ellen would be enthusiastic about this work.
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