Deborah Gilgen Howard, 74, passed away March 7, 2020 in Provo, Utah, surrounded by her loved ones. She was born August 27, 1945 in Norfolk, Virginia to Chester "Chet" Monson Gilgen and Mary Ellen "Meg" Read. Debbie was raised in Utah, Nevada, and California. She graduated from Alhambra High School in 1963. She attended Brigham Young University where she met her eternal mate, Mark James Howard, who she married in the Los Angeles Temple on June 2, 1967. After Mark left for Vietnam, Debbie graduated from BYU in 1972 with a degree in Elementary Education.

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Debbie had a life-long love of Disneyland. They honeymooned there, and for their 50th Anniversary, she and Mark traveled to all six Disney theme park resorts around the world. Debbie had a great love for and testimony of Jesus Christ. Throughout her life, she served in Young Women, Primary, and Relief Society. She had a special place in her heart for YW Camp. And she loved the many missionaries she served as a companion to the mission president in the Manila Philippines Mission.

Debbie is survived by her husband Mark and three children, Shelli (David) Tyler, Scott (Sarah) Howard, and Ken Howard, twelve grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, a brother Read Gilgen, sisters Becky Jones and Miriam Steurer, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and daughter, Amanda Howard.

**UPDATE: Given new guidance by Church and government leaders concerning the coronavirus, we have adjusted plans and will only hold a graveside service for family and friends on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 12pm at Orem Cemetery, 1520 N 800 E, Orem, Utah. A funeral service will be held at a later date. For those who wish to attend the graveside service, we invite all who exhibit flu-like symptoms, who fall in vulnerable age-groups, or who are otherwise concerned about their health to reach out to the Howard family and express their condolences by phone, email, or online. We are grateful for your love, prayers, and sympathy.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a contribution to the Amanda Howard Endowed Scholarship, BYU School of Nursing (see link below).


Graveside Service

Saturday, Mar. 14, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Orem Cemetery
1520 N 800 E
Orem, UT 84097

Life Story Info

Post Date

Mar 11, 2020


Personal Info


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NEXT Jerry D Durrant Jerry D Durrant


We knew Debbie & Mark in the Austin, Texas Branch during the Vietnam War period. We had a lot of fun together with Mark & Debbie and will miss her.

Steve Thompson , Provo, UT, US May 16, 2020

Always a smile and kind word. Love the high school picture which brings back memories of seminary, MIA, and stake dances. I appreciated her good example. She will be missed.


Judie Murray Fry , Peoria, AZ, US Mar 11, 2020

She was one of a kind. Such a caring person. Fun traveling companion. Will be missed by all but she and Amanda are together and happy. Rest In Peace dear Debbie

Brent and Barbara Neeley , St George, UT, US Mar 11, 2020