Myrtle Howe

Myrtle R. Howe, 88, longtime resident of Crow Agency went home to be with the Lord Jesus Christ on July 25, 2020.

She was second of nine children born at home to George Reed Sr. & Ida (Good Horse) Reed in St. Xavier, Montana on April 7, 1932. She completed all years of grade school at St. Xavier Mission and also high school, graduating from the Mission in 1951. Her Indian name Baeeditcheesh (Has Nice Things) was given to her by Medicine Rock Above. She was a member of the Whistling Water Clan and a child of the Newly Made Lodges.

The Crow Reservation lost an incredible individual with her passing, she was very knowledgeable of the Crow culture, language, music, dance and history. She was a woman of great intelligence. Myrtle had an incredible memory, was a talented storyteller, had a great sense of humor and was known for her beautiful singing in church. She had a voice that sounded like Gregorian chants.

In December of 1951, she married the love of her life, Frederick M. Howe Sr. and from this union they had five children: Kayle, Garland, Cheryl, Frederick Jr. and Joseph Perry. They adopted their oldest grandson, Barry Kevin, also raising their granddaughter Marva Rose.

In 1975, at the age of 43, Myrtle embarked upon on journey that would open more doors for her, in addition, she tackled the job of working full-time, going to school nights and weekends while raising two young children. In her senior year, she quit her full-time job to attend college full-time at MSU-Billings (then Eastern Montana College) leaving the two children with her husband Frederick, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in 1979 in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, she worked for Little Big Horn College as Adult Education instructor. She worked at various schools around the reservation – Pretty Eagle, Pryor Public Schools, St. Labre, Wyola and Crow School. 

Myrtle was so fond of education. One of her proudest moments was seeing her son Frederick Jr. graduate from MSU-Billings. Also, she was proud of her granddaughter Angela and great granddaughter Christiane graduating from MSU-Bozeman. Her grandson’s Joseph Eliot and Fred III receiving their degrees and Joseph completing schooling to become a certified electrician. She was also proud of her grandson Burdette Birdinground receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Washington. 

In 1987, Myrtle and her grandchildren traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to see the Pope John Paul II, who was at the annual National Tekakwitha Conference. She was instrumental in taking part in Catholic Church events traveling as far as New York.

After the passing of her Aunt Rose, she became the Matriarch of Reed family often being called upon to pray for her grandchildren and clan relatives. Many times, she had the honor of giving Crow names, her great grandson Brayden was given the name “Likes to Teach”.

She is preceded in death by her parents George and Ida (Good Horse) Reed Sr.; her husband Frederick Howe Sr.; her sons Kayle, Frederick Howe Jr.; her sister Inez Reed Birdinground; her brothers George Jr., Crawford, Harlan and Anthony Reed; her grandson David Howe; her granddaughter Marva Rose; and great grandson Frankie Knowhisgun.

She is survived by her children Garland (Debra), Joseph Perry, Cheryl (Thomas) Dawes and Barry (Roxanne) Howe; her sisters Roseann Reed, Annette Couture and Ruby Williamson,  her uncle Gerald Reed; her grandchildren Amy Jones, Sharon, Verna Howe, Angela (Christian) Parrish, Joseph (Cheyenne) Eliot Howe, Frederick Howe III, Isaiah R. Howe, Garland Joe, Stella, Susie Howe, Nicole Howe, Justin D. Howe, Wade Howe, Tiffany Matt, Burdette “BJ” Birdinground, Marley Rose Birdinground, Kevin Howe, Benie Dale Fredericks, Chris Ann Fredericks, Crystal Fredericks, Anisha Howe, Tyvon Howe, Allison Knowshisgun, Brandi Knowshisgun and her 10 great great grandchildren.  She had so many special friends it is impossible to name everyone but know she valued each of you. 

Our extended family includes the Reed, Good Horse, Schaffer, He Does It, Smells, White Hip, Don’t Mix, Gunshows, Walks, Rock Above, Chief Child, Lincoln, Little Owl, HeDoesIt, Young Bear, Hall, Garnell, Baker, Spang, Heart, Phelan and Denny families. We have a very large family and we are sorry if we have forgotten you during this difficult time.

Viewing will be held Wednesday July 29 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Bullis Mortuary in Hardin.  Graveside services will be held Thursday July 30 at 10:00 am at the Fairview Cemetery Hardin, Montana.  Bullis Mortuary is entrusted with the arrangements. 

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