Tonia Louise Howarth, 82, left this phase of eternal life on May 17th, 2020. Tonia was born on August 2nd, 1937, in Boise, Idaho, to Marjorie and Willard Peterson. She had one older sister, JoAnne. Tonia spent her childhood in Boise, where her father was a builder and her mother was a homemaker. Some of her fondest early memories included rolling down the grass covered hills in front of the Boise Depot, and playing with her pet lizard, Percy.
Tonia attended Boise High School, where she was proud to have been a colonel in ROTC. She graduated in 1955 and was voted Ms. Boise Brave that year. Tonia attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she studied fashion design, for one year. When missing her home state became too much to bear, she transferred to the University of Idaho. Tonia joined the Pi Beta Phi Sorority, where she made several lifelong friends. She graduated in 1959 with a degree in education.
Immediately following graduation, Tonia became a flight attendant with Northwest Orient Airlines. This gave her the opportunity to travel all over the world, which she loved. She became a guide at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, on her days off from flying. In 1965, Tonia retired from flying and moved back to Boise, where she worked as a secretary for a stockbroker. She met Dr. Charles Howarth when she went to have her eyes examined. Following Tonia’s first appointment, Dr. Howarth called her boss to find out if she was single. They dated for six weeks before they married. During the early years of her marriage, Tonia remembered going to Mexico with Charles to assist him in volunteer surgeries, as well as getting to know her stepchildren, Matthew and Melissa. Tonia and Charles later had two children together, Gunnar and Cody.
Tonia spent much of her time driving her children to different activities and volunteering in their schools. After Gunnar and Cody graduated, Tonia decided she needed one more career. She became an esthetician, working first at Dermaclinic in Boise, and then out of her home in Eagle. Tonia had a gift for helping people to feel good about themselves. Many of her clients became close friends. After Charles retired, he and Tonia spent time at their house in Ucluelet, British Columbia, where they enjoyed taking in the beautiful scenery and whale watching. Tonia spent a large portion of her life searching for a belief system which was meaningful to her. Eventually she became a Christian, which brought her great comfort.
Tonia is survived by her stepchildren, Matthew (Patty) Howarth, Melissa (Tom) Weedn, her children Gunnar Howarth and Cody (Clint) Bolinder, and nine grandchildren, all of the Treasure Valley.
Tonia’s family would like to thank Nancy, Mary, Barbara and Leah for their caregiving and compassion. Tonia had a soft spot for those suffering from mental illness. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send any donations to the mental health charity of your choice or check in on a friend or loved one to let them know you care.
Because of the pandemic, no service is planned at this time.
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