September 11, 1932 - September 12, 2020
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 15 She gets up while it is still night. She provides food for her family and portions for her female servant. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gates. Proverbs 31:10, 15-21, 25-31 Zenola was born September 11, 1932 in Memphis, Tennessee to Myles Hamilton Howell and Bettie Rowe Howell. She was the second daughter of five children born to this union. Zenola was raised in St. Louis, Missouri and very early on displayed devotion to her family by helping to care for her younger siblings. This early expression of selflessness and nurturing served her well when she became a mother herself. Later when she attended Vashon High School she excelled in academics; always an honor roll student. She often spoke fondly of her time in high school and would occasionally recite or sing her alma mater’s song. She would also look far off and smile when speaking of her first crush, Miles. After high school, Zenola started her teen years as an elevator operator. As a young adult, she went on to become a sales representative for Amway and also Studio Girl cosmetics. Initially, she wanted to join the military; in which without a doubt she would have excelled. However, she deferred her dream and instead entered into the medical profession. She remained in the medical field for over 30 years. Her places of employment while a nurse and medical technician included San Antonio’s State Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy Association, as well as various nursing homes in both Missouri and Texas. She also earned her certification from the pharmacy technician certification board (PTCB). While in the medical field, Zenola was the consummate professional. She took extreme pride in her professional appearance (always the whitest and most crisply pressed uniform in the hospital); in her attendance (never less than one hour early for the start of her shift); and definitely in her medical knowledge (a medical researcher even after she retired). She took even more pride in providing outstanding care to her patients. She took the time to treat her patients as people deserving of the best attention and care she could provide and ensuring those on her team did the same. Zenola always had an entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic. She operated her own successful home daycare, became an insurance saleswoman, and started a fast food business from her own kitchen. To say she was multi-talented is an understatement. She was blessed with a green thumb and a genuine love for nature. Every morning started with a hot cup of coffee for herself and an abundance of dried bread crumbs for the birds that she would feed without fail. This was a habit that she shared with her grandchildren. She was a cook whose skills in the kitchen were unmatched. She was musically talented, artistically blessed, always a lifelong learner, and a great teacher. Zenola was selfless, a caregiver and a natural nurturer. She bore six children whom she loved dearly and protected her entire life. She was always kind to others, sharing her food, home, wisdom and resources to help those in need. She had unwavering faith in God that she held onto. She prayed without ceasing and always for others. There is not one family member immediate or extended who has not benefitted from her prayers and direct assistance when they were in need. There is not one neighbor or stranger who ever asked her for help that went away empty handed. Deeply rooted in family; she was an amazing daughter, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, and best friend during her lifetime. She was loved, admired, and respected by her family and friends. Zenola moved to Mesa, AZ in 2003 to be near her siblings. She remained in Arizona for 17 years until her home going on Sep 12, 2020, one day after her birthday. Upon departure from this earthly realm, she now joins her parents (Myles Hamilton Howell and Bettie Rowe Howell); sisters (Lenora Stoddard, Leola Howell and Edna Howell); brother (William M. Howell); and one son (William J. Howell) who preceded her in joining our heavenly Father. While in heavenly slumber, Zenola Speed leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, two sons: Phillip (Marion) and Tony; three daughters: Cheryl, Zora, and Betty; 11 grandchildren: Andrew, Toni, Justin, William, Austin, Asia, Vincent, Marie, Zavier, Jamel, and Melaj; (1) adopted grandson (George); a host of great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Zenola was a phenomenal woman in every sense of the word. She loved her family very much and made sure that each family member felt as though they were the most important person in the world. She is loved, will always be cherished, dearly missed and never forgotten. “Mama, you are now with your true peers, the angels. And we know without a doubt they all shouted with joy when you arrived.” A private Celebration of Life memorial with be held for family on Friday, October 16, 2020 in Upper Marlboro, MD.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 15 She gets up while it is still night. She provides food for her family and portions for her female servant. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants... View Obituary & Service Information
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