(KX News) — “I just like to be busy, I get up in the morning and I go and that’s just who I am,” Kathy Howe, a community volunteer, said. “I guess [I like] just to make people happy and it makes me happy.”
It’s not complicated for Kathy Howe. She wants to help however and wherever she can.
The Mandan native, now living in Bismarck, retired three years ago, and will celebrate 50 years of marriage with her husband Scott in June, something they never thought would happen when they first met at Mandan High.
“I don’t know if we want to talk about that,” said a laughing Howe. “We didn’t like each other in high school.”
But love has a funny way of working.
Things would change and Howe says it became husband over career.
“Always husband. Yeah, I just followed the leader,” Howe said.
Howe started volunteering years ago, but it picked up when she moved to Bismarck.
She’s always had a giving heart and her desire to be around other giving hearts helped her through two difficult losses.
“I have a daughter who passed away a couple of years ago from Chron’s [Disease] and I also have a son who passed away at age 28; he was sick,” Howe said.
One of the first places Kathy started to volunteer and still does after at least 20 years is the Ronald McDonald House of Bismarck: a place welcoming people who themselves are faced with trying times.
“Kathy’s just a joy to have around,” Kathy Keiser, Ronald McDonald House of Bismarck Executive Director, said. “She’s compassionate, she’s got a great sense of humor. She’s kind to the families, which of course goes without saying and she’s become a wonderful part of our Ronald McDonald House family. We’re delighted to have her with us,” Keiser said.
Howe also spent time with one organization helping make wishes come true: Make-A-Wish.
“She cares so deeply for people and she’ll also get involved with somebody she doesn’t even know about,” Sharon Mazaheri, Former Make-A-Wish CEO, said. “She just wants to make lives better and I think that is an incredible, exceptional quality.”
Despite her abundant energy though, Howe doesn’t do all her volunteering alone.
“It’s just fun because she’s so excited about it and I kind of want to share in that,” Scott Howe, Kathy Howe’s husband, said. “When she needs help I drive, I lift, I take things and do those kinds of things and help wherever I can.”
Kathy Howe says she’ll continue to volunteer as long as she and Scott are able. After all, she says it’s one way to keep the mind, body and heart working for others.
“Yeah, I think it does the heart good,” Howe said.
Howe will be volunteering even more now, as she was recently named to the advisory board for the Bismarck Cancer Center.