Leone Martina (Meulman) Howard, age 64, passed away at her home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, August 11, 2020.
Leone was born November 2, 1955 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was the daughter of Hendricus "Hank" Meulman and Willy (Vanderkolk) Meulman of The Netherlands.
Sponsored by an uncle, the family immigrated to Canada from The Netherlands before settling in St. Joe, Michigan in 1956 while her father worked in nearby Benton Harbor. The family later moved to Kalamazoo in 1965 where Leone attended Junior High School in Parchment, Michigan, and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1974.
In her early career Leone followed in her father's footsteps as a travel professional, where she arranged and led student performance groups on tours and throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
After a brief marriage to Tom Mcgee, Leone married Richard Weirick while she worked as the Head of Transportation at Performing Arts Abroad (PAA) in Richland, Michigan. Following the birth of her sons Christopher and Andrew, Leone turned her love of children and learning into a 25-year-long career by opening her own home child daycare center. Friends and parents lovingly called it "Camp Leone."
In 1994, Leone married Keith Howard of Kalamazoo, while continuing her home childcare business. Their daughter Kimberly was born in 1995. Leone and Keith recently celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary.
Leone was an extremely creative individual who loved working with natural materials, especially clay. She studied ceramics at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, where she crafted many fine pieces of hand-built pottery and clay sculpture. She also enjoyed gardening and was especially proud of the ferns she gathered from all over Michigan. Most of all, she was extremely proud of her children, grandchildren, and her extended family. Her impact on others was profound. Many "Camp Leone" alumni are now college graduates, nurses, doctors, athletes, and professionals. She always told them her name rhymed with baloney… they still remember her as "Onee," "Meeonee," "Myonee," and "Grandma Maca'roni."
Leone is survived by her husband, Keith Howard of Kalamazoo; sons Christopher Weirick of Richland and Andrew Weirick of Portage; daughters Cassandra Howard of Naples, Florida, Brynn Howard of Kalamazoo, and Kimberly Howard of Kalamazoo. Grandchildren: Christopher, Ariana, Olivia, Mason, Rashaad, Jeffrey, Zion, Damian, Kaden, and Major. Brothers: Maarten and Ben van Gent of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hank Meulman of Kalamazoo in 2019, and Willy Meulman of Hellevoetsluis, The Netherlands in 2000.
Cremation has taken place. Services are entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the West Michigan Cancer Center. To view Leone's personalized web page, please visit https://www.langelands.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leone Martina Howard, please visit our floral store.