Mary Ellen Howell

Stockham Family Funeral Home

Mary Ellen Howell

McPherson - Mary Ellen (Yoder) Howell, a pillar of the Monitor Church community west of McPherson, entered eternal rest at her residence in the Cedars on July 27, 2021. She was 89 years old.

She was preceded in death by her husband of over 50 years, Wally Howell (2005); their oldest child, Mark Howell (2011); and her brother, Bob Yoder (1984). She is survived by Mark's wife Nancy (Heath) Howell and their two sons, Andrew Joseph and Benjamin Wallace, of Wichita Falls, Texas; her daughter Kathy Howell of Corvallis, Oregon; her son Matthew and daughter-in-law Tina Howell of Greenfield, Massachusetts; and her daughter Amy and son-in-law Jay Warner of rural McPherson, Kansas. She is also survived by her brother's wife Elsie, their four daughters--Janet, Rebecca, Gail, and Karen--and their families.

Mary Ellen was born in McPherson on April 28, 1932, the second child of Dayton and Hazel (Kessler) Yoder, and was raised in the home that she would live in for almost eighty years, less than half a mile south of the Monitor Church.

A community leader in many areas related to church and education, Mary Ellen served for many decades as both a Bible School and Sunday School teacher at Monitor, as well as accompanist on the piano and organ. The family farm tradition, which began with Mary Ellen's grandfather in the early 1900's, continues to this day, with Amy and Jay Warner (her daughter and son-in-law) managing what is now a "Century Farm."

In 2012, Mary Ellen made a smooth transition into the Cedars retirement community, where she knew many of her neighbors even before she moved in. She participated actively in a variety of activities and programs at the Cedars, while continuing to attend lectures, concerts, and plays at the college.

On August 2, a memorial service will be held at the Monitor Church (please wear a mask), beginning at 5:30 and followed by a light meal to which all are invited. Mary Ellen will be laid to rest afterwards in the church cemetery next to her husband Wally.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Monitor Church in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460. Personal condolences may be sent to the family at

Posted online on July 27, 2021