Doris Hudson Howland

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Doris “Dottie” Hudson Howland died peacefully at Bethany House on Sept. 23, 2017 in Auburn, Ala., at the age of 94.

Doris is survived by her children: Richard “Buz” Morris Howland (Pam) of Peachtree City, Ga., Dr. Peggy Howland (Kim) of Auburn, Ala., and daughter-in-law Bonnie Howland of Sharpsburg, Ga.; seven grandchildren: Trey Howland (Stephanie) of Inlet Beach, Fla., Ryan Howland (Tracy) of Las Vegas, Nev.; Brian Lemmings (Jen) of Suwanee, Ga., Christy Lemmings Norris (Brandon) of Sugar Hill, Ga., Megan McFarland of Alexandria, Va.; Will Howland of Kennesaw, Ga., and Lauren Howland of Sharpsburg, Ga.; 11 great-grandchildren:  Lily and Hudson Howland of Inlet Beach, Fla.; Hunter, Sawyer, and River Howland of Las Vegas, Nev.; Morgan, Matthew, and Emme Lemmings of Suwanee, Ga.; Jackson, William and Maggie Norris of Sugar Hill, Ga., and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

Doris is preceded in death by her husband Richard “Dick” Morris Howland Sr. of Auburn, Ala.; son William “Bill” Everett Howland (Bonnie) of Sharpsburg, Ga.; brothers Vasco D. Hudson (Coye) of Montgomery, Ala., Lonzo D. Hudson (Lucy) of Montgomery, Ala., William Lomax Hudson (Kitty) of Houston, Texas, Henry Roy Hudson (Edith) of Montgomery, Ala., and sister Norma Jean Hudson of Montgomery, Ala.

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Doris was born on May 4, 1923 in Georgiana, Ala., to William “Lonnie” Lonzo Hudson and Ether Geneva Foster Hudson of Ft. Deposit, Ala..  Her dad was the first college-educated man in the county, and was the principal of the consolidated schools of Crenshaw County.  Her mother taught English for 14 years.  Doris graduated from high school and moved to Montgomery to earn a certificate in secretarial school.  She met her future husband, Dick, an Army Air Corps student pilot while living at the YWCA, and they spent every Saturday night dancing at the USO. She married Dick on Oct. 31, 1942, on a weekend pass at Spence Field, Moultrie, Ga., where he was in pilot training, After Dick became an instructor pilot and completed his duty as a test pilot in Guatemala and Panama, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to help his father with the family wallpaper and paint business. Over the next several years, the couple welcomed three children into their home and Doris set about teaching them to be kind-hearted, hard-working, and to enjoy life.  The family returned to Montgomery, Ala., in the early 1960s.  Doris enjoyed nine years of teaching kindergarten at Whitfield Methodist Church, and then retired after working for the state Medicaid offices as an executive secretary for 10 years. She was an exacting, hard-working, organized employee who was gracious to all those with whom she interacted.  Her children remember her as a gentle, loving and kind mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals.

Doris was accomplished at Southern homemaking, cooking, and helping others, and made casseroles, pies and banana bread for friends, her church family and anyone who might be in need. For many years her ministry at First Presbyterian of Opelika was writing personalized birthday cards for every church member, including children, frequently in the form of special poems. Buz, Peg, and Bill’s favorite memories of their mom include her April Fool pranks of putting sugar in the salt shakers, salt in the sugar bowls, and hiding cotton balls in the vanilla ice cream of hot fudge sundaes covered with chopped peanuts, and then watching her laugh and laugh at their surprise. Doris loved to laugh, was dedicated to caring for those she loved, and was a stickler for correct grammar and “doing things right.”  She will be remembered most for her engaging, ever-present smile.

A celebration of life service is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Opelika, with visitation and a reception preceding it at 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall.  Pastor Noah Kiser will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Doris’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Presbyterian Church of Opelika at 900 2nd Ave, Opelika, Ala., 36801 or Bethany House, 1171 Gatewood Drive, Auburn, Ala., 36830. Condolences can be sent to or 815 Millers Point Rd, Auburn, AL 36830.  The family would like to thank Bethany House for their tender care of Doris in the last chapter of her life. Alabama Funeral Homes and Cremation Centers are in charge of the arrangements.