Last month, a good friend of mine passed away. His name was Howard Titterington. Just an ordinary, but really an extraordinary, guy who lived for over 80 years and served many people in many different capacities. When I served as superintendent of the Okoboji School District, Howard was the Director of Transportation. He drove a school bus for Milford and Okoboji schools for 63 years, starting his senior year in high school. Not many schools would have a member of a baseball team drive the bus to the game, but Howard did.
The funeral was lovely, lots of very nice people saying lots of very nice things about Howard and his family. I received a very long, hard hug from his wife, Roseanna. I was so glad that Victoria and I had trekked the four hours back to Milford for this occasion.
The funeral was held at what was our home church for the seven years we lived in Milford. Pastor Bob Vaage officiated and told many stories about Howard, the family, and his life of service to others. Howard also farmed. He farmed a lot of land, thousands of acres actually with his sons, Tim and Steve. Pastor Vaage said that Howard was proudest when he was called a farmer, one that would plant the seed, nurture it along, and help it when he could, prayed over it and then would collect the harvest.
I got to thinking that we do the same thing in education. Parents and teachers plant the seed of knowledge in our young minds at pre-school, Kindergarten and even earlier and then, each and every year, we nurture it along, help when necessary, and even pray for their growth. What a noble profession we belong to, a profession of being a farmer of minds and young people.
I miss Howard, just like all of us who miss people when they pass away, but I know he is in a better place, watching over all the intersections the Okoboji buses travel and also keeping an eye on his crops. I hope that the staff of Pleasantville will continue to keep an eye on our crops, the students we serve in our schools. I know we will continue to nurture along our seedlings, help where needed, and cultivate their minds, bodies and spirits like we should.
Yes, teaching is so very much like farming and I really believe that we will have another bumper crop this year. Thanks for your support of the Pleasantville Community Schools.