Deceased February 8th, 2013


Born June 11, 1921, in Meriden, CT. Daughter of John and Marie (Weisbauer) Phillippi.

Married Robert L. Howbrigg August 22, 1942, husband of 70 years.

Two sons: John Robert (deceased) and Paul Edwin of Calais, ME.

Moved from Meriden, CT to Calais, Maine during their retirement years to be close to their son, Paul.

She graduated from Meriden High School in 1938, and from the University of Connecticut in 1942. Employed by Aetna Life Insurance Company and the Home National Bank.

She was always active in church and community affairs:

She was a life-long member of Center Congregational Church, serving in many capacities, including treasurer, church school teacher and on the deaconate. She was past moderator of Central Association and past chair of the Church Development Committee of the Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ.

She was past president of Church Women United in Meriden and past president of Church Women United in Connecticut, and was the recipient of their “Valiant Woman Award.” She was also named to “Who’s Who in American Women” in 1981.

She was past president of the Board of the Meriden YWCA. She received their Women in Leadership award in 1985 and in 1993 was selected as “One of 100 Exceptional Women.”

She was a member of Rachel Rebekah Lodge #2. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was past District Deputy President of the Rebekah Assembly of Connecticut.

She was active with the Connecticut Eye Bank and Visual Research Foundation and served several years as Secretary of the Board of Directors.

She served on the Human Rights Advisory Board of the City of Meriden, being named to the Board at its inception.

As a couple, she and her husband received the “Pride Award” in 1985 and in 1997 the Meriden Rotary Club named them “Citizens of the Year.”

She and her husband served together as On-Call Chaplains at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. They both served on the Board of Directors of the Meriden soup kitchen, their home served for many years as a Host Home to give shelter to teens during troubled times in their lives.

In 2002 she received the “Humanitarians of the Year” award given by the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Irma held membership in many civic organizations: Council of Concern; Pride in Meriden; Meriden Historical Society; Meriden Land Trust; Friends of the Library; Friends of the Goffe House American Silver Museum; Meriden Humane Society.