Born in Sterling, Colorado, on Sept. 1, 1924, devoted mother of four and a loving, supportive wife, Reavis Lavina Smith Howlett passed away Saturday (March 27, 2010) in Yuma, Colo.
Reavis married John Howlett on Nov. 22, 1944, in Golden, Colo. Together they raised four children, Karen Giauque of Ocala, Fla., Bryan Howlett of Ocala, Fla., David Howlett of Denver, Colo., and Ruth Howlett of Otis, Colo. Her husband, children, and grandchildren were the center of her life, and Reavis made every sacrifice to enhance their lives.
Reavis grew up with her parents, Herman and Laura Smith, and sisters Elzene and Arlene in the Burdette community. She attended grade schools at Burdette and Sterling. Her family moved to Otis in 1941 and she graduated from Otis High School in 1943. Shortly thereafter she married John.
After the war the newlyweds made their home south of Otis where Reavis made a home for the family while John farmed and ranched with his father, Rex Howlett.
In 1955 Reavis and her family of five, which now included John, Karen, Bryan, and David, moved to Brush, Colo., where she and John started a furniture business. Reavis continued to provide a loving and caring home for her family while John ran the business. The final member of the family, Ruth, was born in Brush.
John then entered the insurance business, and Reavis and her family relocated to Gering and later McCook. Through this time Reavis continued to love and nurture her family as they grew to adulthood. Reavis was a full-time homemaker but she also worked outside of the home at times at J. C. Penney in Brush and Scottsbluff and as a hostess at the Chief Restaurant in McCook.
In 1977, the family made it full circle, returning to Otis to be closer to Reavis' mother, Laura Smith, and John's parents, Rex and Irene Howlett.
John took a job as manager of the Otis birdseed plant and later owned and operated Howlett Custom Hay. He later became a Washington County Commissioner. Reavis supported him and provided a loving home during all of his endeavors.
Always known to John as Reavy and to her children as Mommie, the family's affectionate names for Reavis evolved over the years to Momster and Mumster and the Mom, and later to the Dolly Mama. But no matter the pet names, she was always Mom or Mommie.
She was preceded in death by her father Herman and mother Laura, and her sisters Arlene and Elzene.
She is survived by her husband John, sons Bryan and David, daughters Karen and Ruth and grandchildren Steve and Tania Giauque.