Mark Walter Howery Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Mark Walter Howery by his mother Aurelia Semerda Howery. The scholarship is designated to be used for an American young man born of American parents.

Mrs. Howery earned a bachelor of arts in chemistry in 1952 from OCW. She later received a master’s degree at William Patterson University in New Jersey. She taught science and reading specialization in junior high and high school for 31 years in Garfield, New Jersey. She was a highly respected educator who retired in 1997 after 31 years of distinguished service as a classroom teacher. She received the Teacher of the Year award in 1995-96 from the Governor of New Jersey.

In addition to her education activities, she was a world traveler for many years, but never met anyone from Oklahoma while on her travels. She was a savvy investor who gave generously to her family and the causes she believed in. Throughout her life, she supported Native American causes, environmental preservation, veteran causes and education. She was a founding member of the USAO Echo Society.

She gave the scholarship in honor of her son who was not able to take advantage of an education. In addition to Mark, she and her husband Charles had two other children – Terrence C. Howery and Claudia D. (Howery) Gonzalez.

She is described by her son Terrence as ‘one tough woman’ who made a positive impact on everything she did. Her great passions were her grandchildren, gardening, quilting and travel. She gardened on an entire city block next to her house.

Terrence bought her a BB gun to chase off wood chucks that were eating her garden. It didn’t do the job, so she secured a concealed handgun permit and bought a hand gun at the age of 73.

She passed away in 2006 at the age of 76. Through her estate, she increased the scholarship endowment to well over half a million dollars. She died from an aggressive form of bone cancer. After the doctors told her the diagnosis, she asked to be left alone with Terrence. She asked him to tell her what all that she had just been told meant. He gave it to her straight – the cancer was not going away and she needed to make plans. She said thanks and went about making arrangements to have all her friends and family come see her.

She reported to Terrance one evening that while her best friend was visiting her in the hospital room that she looked up and said “I have another visitor, would you excuse us?” When the friend returned to the room, Aurelia reported that her father, who passed away in 1972, had come to take her home. She went to sleep later that night and passed away quietly before morning.

Her husband loved motorcycles but she saw them as a tragedy just waiting to happen. Consequently, Charles bought Terrance a motorcycle and enjoyed it with and through him. She asked Terrance to intern her ashes with those of her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. He made the mistake of telling her that he would ride his motorcycle to delivery her ashes. She was not happy about the prospect of being delivered to her final resting place on a ‘hog.’

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