July 15, 96, Goldsboro
Gordon Reece Howell, Jr., 96, passed away on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Mr. Howell was born November 1, 1923 in Bessemer, Jefferson County, Alabama to the late Gordon Reece Howell and Hortense Dobbs Howell.
Mr. Howell was a veteran of the United States Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne division. Following his service to our country, Mr. Howell completed his undergraduate degree in Science and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. He dedicated his entire career to the care and concern of people with disabilities, serving for nine years at Caswell Center, thirteen years at the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, and the remainder of his career as the Principal for Howell’s Child Care Center.
A family man, Mr. Howell was a devoted husband to his wife, Irene, and the best father to their five children. He was a man of remarkable character with a high moral standard and a devout Christian. Mr. Howell was grateful for the blessings in his life, and would always thank God for the many, many, many blessings he had received.
Mr. Howell was a philanthropist with great concern for the communities, churches, and schools which had an impact on his life. Mr. and Mrs. Howell were generous contributors to East Carolina University, Lenoir Community College, Barton College, and Wesleyan College, as well as Irene’s home church, Westminster United Methodist Church and his current church home, La Grange United Methodist Church.
Although Mr. Howell had an understated disposition, he was extremely knowledgeable. No matter the subject, he had something helpful to contribute. He was known to challenge his family and friends to look at opposing sides of situations—not to be argumentative, but rather to be sympathetic and understanding of people of differing beliefs and values. His personality and love of a good laugh endeared him to everyone he met.
In addition to Mr. Howell’s love for his family, faith, and the people with whom he worked, his love for chocolate was extreme. His family knew to leave his top drawer and his brief case alone. The top-secret content of each was the best dark chocolate, and he didn’t intend to share.
A service to remember Mr. Howell’s life will be held at a later date to be announced by the family.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Howell was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Smith Howell; grandchildren, Sean Webb and Braxton Reeves; siblings, Donald W. Howell, George Howell, and Jack Howell; lifelong friend and fellow World War II veteran, Beverly Byrd, and friend from the beginning days of the first Hueytown Band, Dr. Henry Miller. Mr. Howell is survived by his children, Gail Sims, Jerry Howell and wife, Susie, Joseph Howell, Valentine Melton and husband, Larry, and David Howell; grandchildren, Adrian Reeves-Burke, Fuller Reeves, IV, Jody Howell, Morgan Hester Howell, Jessika Michelle Howell, Kamryn Brianna Howell, Joaln Sidney Howell, Ashley Daniel Gray, Lindsey Howell Walkoviak, and Keely Irene Gray; 11 great grandchildren; 4 great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Joyce Howell; and special friend, Elwood Jack Harper and family.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.