Charles Howe, McCormick Alumnus, is 100


Charles E.F. Howe, A 1943 graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary, turns 100 on June 10, 2011.

Charles Edward Francis Howe was born June 10th, 1911 in Detroit, where he grew up. Beginning with a paper route & work as a produce clerk, he worked for more 60 years until retiring in 1983. Howe graduated from Detroit High School of Commerce in 1929; Walsh College of Business in 1934; and Detroit Tech in 1940 with a B.A. in accounting. He worked for GM-Fisher Body as an accountant from 1930 until 1940, when he made a mid-life career change and began studying for the ministry.

Howe attended McCormick Theological Seminary and managed its bookstore while pursuing his studies. Graduating in 1943 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, he married Myrtle Loraine Short and the new couple went to work at Broadview Community Church in Chicago. A church in Holt, Mich. followed. Pastorates in Lithopolis and Greencastle, Ohio followed in 1947-1952, during which time Mr. Howe was also secretary-treasurer of the International Society for Christian Endeavor in Columbus. 

In December of 1952, Howe received the call to become the next minister of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, Ill. Here the family would reside for the next 13 years. Succeeding his pastorate in Carbondale would be two posts in Springfield, Ill.  The first was with the Illinois Council of Churches, beginning as research and planning associate, then as executive secretary until 1976; the second with the American Baptist Churches, Great Rivers Region, as an associate for church planning and development.  His wife Loraine died suddenly in July of 1982. 

During a subsequent visit back to Michigan to visit his mother & siblings, he re-kindled a friendship with Althea Mosely Scherer. They were married in January of 1984 and moved to the Presbyterian Village in New Baltimore, Mich. during their last years. Here Howe continued his ministry by visiting shut-ins and comforting the sick and bereaved. He remained in the village after Althea died in 1997 and has spent the past several years in the comfort of an assisted-living apartment and then healthcare in the village.

Howe considers his greatest accomplishment in life getting the voters of Jackson County, Ill. in the early 1960s to vote for and approve the Jackson County Nursing Home, now named the Murphysboro Rehab Center. Before the Center was built, the elderly were often sent to substandard facilities with almost non-existent care.