“Nursery Grandpa,” Ensign, June 1997, 68
In October 1989 William (Tommy) Howell and his wife, Marguerite, were called as nursery workers in the Chesterfield Ward, St. Louis Missouri Stake. Sister Howell was released a year later because of health reasons, but at age 82 Brother Howell is still among those serving in the nursery.
“Brother Howell asked me to please let him stay with the children,” recalls former Primary president Diana Carter. “He has always been such a stabilizing force to our children. I have loved to see how he focuses on the sad or quiet child and helps that child feel comfortable and loved. I imagine he’s probably put together the same puzzles a million times!”
Children in the ward continually demonstrate their appreciation of Brother Howell’s love and attention. “Our three-year-old, Laura, takes great delight in shouting, ‘There’s my friend!’ as she points to Brother Howell,” says Susan Matthews.
Asked what he loves most about the nursery, Brother Howell says: “It’s the response of the children. When they look in your eyes and you can see that they trust you, that’s worth an awful lot. I love them so much. You can’t fool a child with fake love.”
Brother Howell has said he feels he can do more good serving in the nursery than almost anywhere else. Nevertheless, he and his wife perform another important service each month when they drive six hours to Chicago to do temple work for three days.—Jeanette Mahaffey, Chesterfield, Missouri