Lu Sparks Howe

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wjsaia
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:53 pm

Lu Sparks Howe

Post by wjsaia »

Lu Sparks Howe died at the age of 90 on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at a Novato, CA assisted living community nearby to her long-time residence that Jack and she established following their closing of Jack’s practice in Minneapolis and final relocation to California in 1993. Lu and Jack met in Phoenix in 1947 and were married in 1952. She was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship from about that time until 1964. Lu and Jack were devoted partners over the course of their 45-year marriage, following a 5-year courtship. Jack died in 1997.

A sister of Jack’s lived in Novato, for whom he had once designed a house, and Lu’s family at the end of her life consisted of Jack’s nephews and nieces, one of whom, Christian Goepel, gave particularly generously toward assisting and overseeing her welfare and security during her final several years. She also kept in touch with numerous friends and clients from their Minneapolis days, such as Tom Olsen (and Merle Sykora) with whom she and Jack wintered as neighbors in Phoenix; other former Taliesin Fellowship members, such as Carl and Elaine Book of Santa Rosa, Virginia Medeiros (now deceased), Walter Medeiros of Berkeley (who built for Jack and Lu interior components that Jack designed for their Novato residence); friends from the years during which Lu and Jack worked at Aaron Green's office in San Francisco; Novato neighbors Marty Adams and others; various Wisconsin and Minnesota architects and architectural historians, including Tim Quigley (past president of the FLWBC), who is writing a monograph on Jack’s architectural career; other architectural historians and writers, including Kathryn Smith; and a filmmaker, Rob Barros, who is currently producing a documentary on Jack Howe.

Lu’s mind was as sharp as ever, and she continued to read prolifically and hold strong opinions on politics, society, and all manner of subjects until nearly the very end of her life.

Bill Schwarz

WJS
Last edited by wjsaia on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

m.perrino
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

Post by m.perrino »

It has been indeed a difficult first half of 2013 at T-W. Cornelia, then Dr. Joe and just this Friday, Frank Henry. Frank was one of the original volunteer tour guides, when the program was formed in 1986. He had spent 30 years with the firm of Weaver & Drover. Frank spent many hours with apprentices in the drafting room.

Now we learn about Lu Howe. The ranks of those who had straight line contact with the Wrights is, sadly, rapidly thinning. A process than unfortunately cannot be reversed.

As an aside, I personally feel that Jack Howe and Gene Masselink are two people who have yet to receive proper professional credit for keeping FLW's practice and the Fellowship functioning, both during Wright's lifetime and certainly after his passing.

Randolph C. Henning
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:04 am
Location: North Carolina
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Post by Randolph C. Henning »

m.perrion - I would respectfully add a third name to your list of Jack Howe and Gene Masselink - Wes Peters.

m.perrino
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

Post by m.perrino »

Yes, I am in agreement, Wes' full story and contribution have also not been fully documented or reported. Maybe some academic will pick up the task.
Here is a possible working title :

" Peters, Howe, Masselink : Caretakers of Organic Architecture "

Randolph C. Henning
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:04 am
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Randolph C. Henning »

Or "John Howe, Eugene Masselink & William Wesley Peters: Frank Lloyd Wright's 3-Legged Stool" . . as each equally supported Mr. Wright.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4311
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

M. Perrino,

Was there an obituary published for Frank Henry?

If you can find it please post the link.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

m.perrino
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

Post by m.perrino »

Paul : I have not seen or received any information, but will pass it along if I do. Frank was a great guy and was one of the few who spearheaded and worked diligently to see that the David Wright House was saved. He shared my complete disdain and revulsion for the previous owners.

Michael

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