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Ida M. Howarth, co-owner of Menne Nursery

Nov. 2, 1921 – Dec. 1, 2015

Ida Maude Howarth, of Clarence Center, who owned and operated Menne Nursery with her husband, died Tuesday. She was 94.

The former Ida Stevens and her late brother, Percy Stevens, were the first twins born in Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.) Hospital. She worked as a secretary in a hardware store and a Bell telephone switchboard operator during World War II.

She moved to the U.S. after marrying Fred Howarth in 1946 and, after he left a job at the former Menno S. Mennes Nurseries, helped him operate a landscaping firm. He returned to the nursery in the 1960s. She was instrumental in administering the business after they became owners in 1980. Since they retired in 2002, their children and grandchildren continue to operate the nursery.

Known as “Stevie,” Mrs. Howarth was an avid golfer, ballroom dancer and boating enthusiast. She and her husband vacationed in Canada during the summer and spent winters in Marco Island, Fla.

Her husband died in 2011.

Survivors include three daughters, Stephanie Galdys, Kathryn Sokolowski and Susan; a son, Frederick J. “Bud”; a sister, Florence Bennett; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be arranged.

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