Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Marge Howes grew up in Delhi. She went to public schools and became an avid athlete. She attended the University of Cincinnati, where she played three varsity sports: field hockey, basketball and softball. She became part of the Chi Omega sorority, majored in physical education, and minored in health and biology. She graduated in 1958 on the Dean’s List and received the C-Ring for Women’s Leadership Award in recognition for her leadership and service.
After graduation, she landed her first job at Douglass College at Rutgers University, where she started working in September 1958 in the Department of Physical and Health Education. She started the interscholastic sports programs in basketball, field hockey and softball and coached the teams. She became basketball chair in New Jersey of the Division of Girls and Women's Sports (DGWS) and taught coaches in high schools and colleges the evolving rules of the sport.
After leaving Rutgers, she moved to Connecticut, becoming the basketball chair for the state, officiating games, coaching basketball at several colleges, and coaching her childrens' athletic teams. Later, she became involved in supporting women's basketball at the University of Connecticut and the University of Cincinatti.
In 1997, Howes was inducted in the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame. Her Hall of Fame inscription reads: "Marge Howes was a pioneer in women's basketball ... Women's basketball today is a reflection of Howes' solo efforts in the sport nearly 40 years ago."