Alma Dohms-Howson went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 at over 96 years of age. She was born on September 2, 1923 in Fenwood, Saskatchewan. Alma was the loving wife of Rev. Harold Frederick Howson (died 2013), and the Mother of Charles Frederick Howson of Edmonton, AB, Mark James Howson (spouse Andrea) of Kelowna, B.C.,and her young son Joel Bruce who predeceased her in 1965. She was the Grandmother of Leigha, Ryan, Danae, Joshua, Jeffrey.
Predeceased by her parents Rudolph and Martha (Schmidt) Dohms, brothers Arnold, Walter, and Albert, and by her sisters Eleanor Weber, Louise Reinheimer, Doris Gaffney, Violet Howson, and Mavis Hauser.
Alma was born in a plain log farmhouse on the family farm on the Saskatchewan prairie with the help of a midwife. Her early schooling to Grade 8 came from the nearby Fenwood red brick two-room schoolhouse. Her favorite subjects then were spelling, language, literature and health. After school, there were always a few chores to do. Her chores, she recalls, were to fill the stove’s woodbox, while others were to get snow for washing in the winter, taking turns washing or drying dishes, or running the milk separator.
“Hide and Seek” was a popular game with the Dohms kids growing up in the country. Farm animals were a big part of her upbringing. She remembers her pet duck with a broken leg that she nursed back to health and a goat named “Billy” who chased them around the yard; games like Chinese Checkers and Snakes & Ladders were great pastimes in the 1920s. Her dad Rudolf made a merry-go-round out of an old sleigh for his children which brought much fun. Into her teenage years, Alma and her sister Louise worked at Judge Porter’s home in nearby Melville, SK.
After leaving the farm to attend Western Bible College in Winnipeg, which was run by Dr. Eustace Purdie, Alma worked at the General Hospital in Winnipeg, MB in the nurse’s office. She remembers her wage there at $55.00 per month from 1945-1949. There she passed nurses their messages, took phone call duty, prepared lunches for the nursing staff, served tables in the staff-room and was in charge of the petty cash box. One special remembrance during Bible School, was that she was asked to interview a missionary from Trinidad over a Fort Frances, Ontario radio station for about ten minutes. The missionary was Mrs. Marion Parkinson, who had been on her way to Trinidad by boat, when it sank after being struck. Many on-board the boat including her husband drowned. This missionary went on to Trinidad, even though she was alone. That story was an unforgettable event to Alma.
Alma met Fred Howson at her sister Violet’s wedding. Alma says she was very attracted to Fred perhaps because both of them were interested in ministry. During courtship, they corresponded by mail for about 9 months while Alma pastored a church in Wadena, Saskatchewan with her sister Doris’s help while Fred pastored a church in Magnetewan, Ontario. They married in Melville, SK on July 7th, 1956. They motored around in Fred’s 1956 Studebaker, painted yellow and black, during their honeymoon.
In the next 60 something years, together they pastored churches in Lac du Bonnet, MB, Altamont, MB, Rossburn, MB, Madsen, ON, Manitouwadge, ON, Amherstburg, ON, Wiseton, SK, Cutknife, SK, and later Saskatoon, SK..
Alma’s entire life centered around ministry and some of her roles in ministry have included Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Church Ministries leader, Woman’s Ministry president, Sunday School teacher, Pastor (for seven and a half years before her marriage), pastor’s wife (since 1956). Alma was active as the Prayer Coordinator for the Pentecostal Assemblies Saskatchewan district for three years. She used to say that she saw a difference in the lives of the kids ministered to. She remarked, "Their behavior has changed although much still remains to be done. Being able to point boys, girls, and adults to Christ makes me the proudest.”
Alma reflects and then elaborates,” …Just talking to God personally is how I pray, rather than having a favorite prayer. I don’t call it religion – when you are born again, God becomes personal! My personal encounter with God, was when I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I try to read the Bible each day. My favorite passages are in Psalms, Proverbs, and Romans. My favorite passage is Proverbs 3:5&6, but there are many more.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3: 5&6
“I enjoy studying the life of David and Paul’s life. My experience with the Lord is as real today as it was in 1938 when I accepted Christ at age 15. I am the proudest of being a Christian, but mostly because of God’s great love, mercy and His Grace to me!”
Alma’s funeral service will be held at Whites Road Pentecostal Church, Harriston, on Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 1:00 p.m., with visitation one hour prior.
Family interment in Coningsby Cemetery, Hillsburgh to follow.
Memorial donations to online Childcare PLUS (PAOC) (https://www.erdo.ca/contact-ccp) would be appreciated, and may be made through the Hardy-Lee Funeral Home, Harriston.
On-line condolences at www.hardyleefuneralhome.com