Colleen Howe, Mrs. Hockey
Colleen Howe, a U.S. Hockey Hall of famer, was the first woman in history to be honored by a major hockey hall of fame.
Colleen Howe, a U.S. Hockey Hall of famer, was the first woman in history to be honored by a major hockey hall of fame. A true pioneer, she spearheaded their families business interests, fund raising endeavors, and hockey related pursuits with unyielding zeal, innovation and ambition. She founded of The Howe Foundation whose mission is to assist underprivileged children. Colleen and Gordie have helped assist thousands of worthwhile organizations through personal appearances and hands on support. They have generated millions of dollars for innumerable good causes.
She founded the Detroit Junior Redwings, the first junior hockey team in the U.S. She played a large role as a developer and nurturer of youth hockey spanning many decades, which impacted thousands of children and families and greatly elevated the growth of the sport. The Colleen J. Howe Arena was named in her honor in her hometown of Sandusky, Michigan. There is also a school, “Colleen & Gordie Howe® Middle School” named in their honor located in Abbotsford, B.C Canada.
Also, during 1993, Colleen fostered another amazing project. She launched a 65 city fundraising tour in honor of Gordie's 65th birthday to thank the many fans for all the years of support. Unbelievably, the Howe’s visited 65 cities that year and raised nearly one million dollars – all for charity. As so many can attest, the Howe family is famous for their half-century participation in innumerable charities and fundraisers. The Howe Foundation is still a vibrant cause and its newest focus involves building a Howe Center for Youth Hockey Development that would also house the family's unprecedented memorabilia collection for hockey fans of future generations for their enjoyment and inspiration.
During her incredible life, Colleen was honored by "The March Of Dimes" with their highest national sports honor, "The Lifetime Achievement in Sports Award." In 1996, she and Gordie were inducted into the Michigan Jewish Sport Hall of Fame – Alvin Foon category – making Colleen the first woman to ever win the award. She was Michigan's Sportswoman of the year in 1973. The Hands of Stone International Museum inducted Colleen into their Celebrity Hall of Fame.
Like many mothers and grandmothers, Colleen was extremely proud of her four children and nine grandchildren, always emphasizing the importance of family. Marty, her oldest son, currently works for Power Play, as the Business Manager. Mark is employed by the Detroit Red Wings as a pro scout and their son, Murray, is a successful radiologist in Toledo, Ohio. Cathy currently resides in Lubbock, Texas running a family business with her husband.
As incredible as her husband Gordie was on the ice, Colleen was as influential off the ice. For nearly 50 years, she was the fan friendly business end of the family entity. Over the years, thousands of people have thanked Colleen and Gordie for the generosity of their time for autographs, sharing their family with the public, and their amazing down to earth approachability.
Colleen will always be honored and remembered for impact on the sport, amazing development of hockey and being a loving wife, mother and grandmother.