Sheldon Howe

Sheldon Howe, 72

sheldonChebeague Island - Sheldon Howe, for the past two years a resident of Chebeague Island and then of Brunswick, died Thursday in Mid-Coast Hospital following a severe stroke. He was 72 years old.

Sheldon's life revolved around two major commitments: to the education of autistic children and to God and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. For thirty years he worked at the Linwood Center, a school in Ellicott City Maryland for severely disabled autistic children. He focused on art as a way of reaching the children, and also served as a significant inspiration to them.

He became a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the 1970s, attending several churches in Baltimore and then the Portland and Brunswick SDA churches. He was a devoted member, doing community service and involved in evangelical ministry, always motivated by God to love and serve other people. The church's dietary and other rules provided a useful structure for his daily life.

Several years after his retirement from Linwood he moved to Chebeague Island to live with his sister, Beth Howe and her husband Mac Passano. He lived with them for most of a year and then moved to Skolfield House assisted living in Brunswick. He became a member of the Spindleworks artists' cooperative also in Brunswick, which welcomed him warmly. This revived his interest in drawing and painting. As a young man he was a gifted artist with work in a juried museum show when he was a teenager. He also always loved music, both religious and classical. He played the clavichord, the piano and the recorder.

Sheldon Tower Howe was born March 8, 1943 in Baltimore Maryland. He was the eldest child of Dr. Sarah Tower and Dr. Howard Howe, both research physicians at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He attended St. Paul's School for Boys outside Baltimore, and went to Goddard College in Vermont. He earned a Master's degree in special education before joining the staff at Linwood. He never married and is survived by his sister and brother-in-law.

He was a friendly, outgoing and generous person, always concerned about others and wanting to help in whatever way he could. People often described him as "sweet", not in a saccharine way, but as a gentle, kind, accepting and good man. He shared his love for music and art as well as his sincere faith in God.

He was buried in the Chebeague Island Cemetery. A memorial service for him will be held at the Brunswick Seventh Day Adventist Church in January.