Catherine Howard

Obituary of Catherine Howard

Hilton Head Island, SC - Dr. Catherine Howard, 70, passed away on May 8th, 2020 at her home on Hilton Head. She was born on October 17, 1949 in Princeton, Ind, to Robert and Nancy Howard, formerly of Hilton Head.


Cate had an abiding passion for literacy, children, and family. As an adult her love of storytelling and children called her to a career as a children’s librarian. After graduating from Fairmont West High School (’67) in Dayton, OH, and receiving a BA from The College of Wooster (’71), Cate earned a Master in Library Sciences from Emory University (’72), and a Doctorate of Library Sciences at Indiana University (’89). 


As a children’s librarian Cate worked in public library systems for 20 years, including in Dayton, OH, Raleigh, NC, and Dubuque, IA, and taught library science at the college level at Kent State University, Indiana University, and Clarke University. In 1990 she served on the Newbery Medal Award Committee, and was a member of the American Library Association. Her nephew Andy and niece Emily credit their Aunt Cate for inspiring their own love of reading. 


Cate loved mystery novels, Hallmark movies, baking cookies, staying in touch with lifelong friends, and she always looked forward to Howard family reunions. She and her brother Charles grew up close with their many cousins, and her extended family were among her closest friends throughout her life. She is survived by her niece Emily Howard of Nashville, TN, nephew Andy Howard (Emma) of Terre Haute, Ind, two great nieces Harriet and Virginia, her sister-in-law LaDonna Howard of Crawfordsville, Ind, and cousins Lucy Strait, Susie Reed, Steve Howard, Paul Howard, and Jim Howard. She is preceded in death by her parents Robert and Nancy, her brother Charles, and cousins David and Thomas Howard. Throughout her entire life Cate was a fighter who faced many health challenges while always remaining independent and true to herself. She was a symbol of strength to those who knew her best. 


Cate was a member of Providence Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head and will be inurned on the church grounds. A private ceremony will be held at a later date. Those wishing to honor Cate’s memory may do so by contributing to Reading Is Fundamental, a children’s literacy non-profit, and to the Wake County Public Library.