Dorthia (Loftis) Howell, 78, passed away Nov. 20. She was a fighter to the end with her family at her side. Loved and cared for by so many, Dorthia will always hold a special place in our hearts. She was born July 13, 1937 in Frederick, Okla., to Luther Ben and Zephyr Mae Loftis. After graduating from high school, she moved to Albuquerque to follow her sister. She got her first job at Sandia Base, where she was set up on a blind date with a co-workers’ brother. She went on to marry him, Louis Neil Howell. They eventually settled in Estancia, where she raised her four children, and has lived for the past 48 years. She attended beauty school in Albuquerque. She also worked for many years at the McIntosh Post Office, and later had her own process serving business in the Estancia Valley. As a true Estancia loyalist, she always wanted to support her community. Her children graduated from Estancia High School, and competed in multiple sports. Not only did she continue to attend high school sporting events long after they were gone, she also cared deeply for her friends and anyone else she could help in the community. Dorthia is survived by her four children: Yvette (James) Hopperstad of Longmont Colo.; Monette (Leland) Sedberry of Albuquerque; Colette (Daniel) Plantz of Des Plaines, Ill.; and Leonard Howell of Tucson, Ariz.; along with 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Louis Neil Howell, and her grandson Kyle Plantz. Her greatest joy in life came from her family, and how much she loved and supported them. She attended every big event in her children and grandchildren lives, from high school sporting events to births, graduations and weddings. You could count on Dorthia being there and cheering on her family. Her life was defined by commitment and support. Anyone who met Dorthia knew she was a dedicated mother and grandmother. Dorthia was a talented high school basketball player, and loved sports her whole life. She was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, faithfully supported the UNM Lobos (even though her kids all attended NMSU), and always cheered on her Estancia Bears. Her home was a central gathering place for her grandkids in the summer. She gave great advice and encouragement, supporting each one of them. They will always cherish those memories. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 27, at First Baptist Church in Estancia. This will be directly followed by a short graveside service at the Estancia Cemetery, and a “pot luck” reception at the Estancia Town Hall, at 513 Williams Ave.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]