John Robert Howell, age 79, lifelong Howell resident, died at his home Wednesday, October 6, 2010. He was born on September 14, 1931 in Oceola Township, Howell, Michigan, the son of Leo and J. Mae (Botsford) Howell. John attended Rumsey Country School, graduated from Howell Public Schools in 1949 and attended Adrian College; he was an alumnus of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Howell.
John married Clarice Crippen in 1952. They were married for thirty-six years when she passed away on July 14, 1988. Dear father of Valerie Komlos, Laurie Reardon of Howell and the late John Robert “Bob” Howell II (1/4/2010). Grandfather to Corey Komlos, Piper Jackson, Zachary Komlos, Chelsea, Madison, Miki Reardon and Taylor Komlos. Also survived by four great-grandchildren. Dear brother of Duane (Dianna) Howell of Florida and Marilyn (Dick) Rider of Houghton Lake, MI and loving companion of MaryLou Hilton.
At the age of nineteen, John started his first business venture and he has been going strong ever since. This year marks his 60th year in business. He has been a long standing member of the Michigan Towing Association, serving as secretary for two years and president for seven years. He was also a founding member of the Interstate Towing Association, serving as president for three years. He was a member of the Michigan Trucking Association, serving on the Board of Governors for over twenty-five years, and a member of the Fifth Wheel Club of Detroit. John was inducted into the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame in 1996.
He has been an active member of his community over the years, serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals, City of Howell, as a member and chairman for 32 years; former member of the planning commission, member of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Chamber of Commerce; Michigan Retailers Association and Livingston County Tax Allocation Board. He was named Citizen of the Year in 2005.
John was also an active member of the Masonic fraternity with memberships as follows: Howell Lodge No. 38 F & AM – life member; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite – Valley of Detroit, Moslem Temple Shrine – Detroit; Huron Valley Shrine Club, past president; Livingston Chapter No. 30 R.A.M.; Livingston Council No. 73 R&SM, Past Super Excellent Master; Howell Commandery No. 28, Past Commander; Past Grand Commander of Michigan, elected to the Board of Trustee; Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests; York Rite College No 1; Royal Order of Scotland; Howell Masonic Temple Board President for sixteen years.
Other organizations of which John was a member were the Michigan Farm Bureau; Corporation, Board of Directors; Livingston 1st Club; Howell Elks Lodge No. 2168, Charter and Life Member and Governors Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Funeral services will be Monday, October 11 at 12:00 noon at the First United Methodist Church, 1230 Bower Street, Howell. Burial in Lakeview Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday 6 – 8 p.m. and Sunday 1 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. at MacDonald’s Funeral Home, Howell (517-546-2800). Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church.