Over 300 community members showed their love and support for the Howze family on Sunday with a mile and a half long candlelit memorial walk in honor of Sharon Howze.
Howze, wife of former Turlock City Councilman Ted Howze, died on Saturday after she collapsed near the end of the Udder Run 5K event in Hilmar.
The memorial walk began at the house of a family friend and ended at the Howze residence, where grieving husband Ted and sons Trey, Trenton and Tynan welcomed the community outpouring of condolence with sincere thanks.
“We began our day with such a hole in our hearts,” said Ted Howze. “To see all of your faces today, you filled our hearts. I will never forget the love and support you’re showing our family at this very difficult time. We love you all.”
The sudden death was a shock to family and friends — and the many people she touched throughout her life. Along with being a wife and mother of three sons, Sharon Howze was an adaptive physical education teacher for Stanislaus County and a track coach for Denair schools.
“I’m going to miss seeing her run around town. She was always running,” said longtime friend Melissa Treadwell. “Her smile is what I’ll miss the most.”
Sharon Howze was also very active in the First United Methodist Church of Turlock. She taught Sunday School for first through third graders, was an adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 451, and she helped in numerous ways with the junior and senior high youth programs. Sharon also served on the church welcome committee, helped with outreach projects, and drove youth to many activities and events.
"Sharon was always quick to step forward, gracious in offering help, and ready to give of herself. We are shocked and saddened, and we will miss her dearly," said FUMC Turlock Pastor Joe Major.
The family will hold a private service and a public celebration of Howze's life will be announced at a later date. The family asks that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to : The Society for the Handicapped, 1129 8th St # 101, Modesto, CA 95354.
— Kristina Hacker contributed to this report.