Frederick “Dick” Howell of Republic, Missouri passed away on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 at the age of 94. Dick had been in failing health for several months and died peacefully in his home in Republic, Missouri with his beloved wife Peggy by his side.
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Frederick Albert Howell, Jr. was born in Canton, MO on March 23, 1925 to parents, Frederick “Mose” and Hazel Belle Marie Howell. As the middle of three children, growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River provided young Dick as many adventures as Tom Sawyer. He was a hard worker in support of his family and enjoyed his leisure time on the baseball field, basketball court and even the local pool hall.
In 1943, immediately following high school graduation, Dick joined the ranks of fellow World War II soldiers, including his older brother, Bill. As the tail gunner, Dick and the crew of his B17, Jimbo’s Circus, survived 25 full missions, earning them lifetime membership in the “Lucky Bastards Club”.
With great gratitude for receipt of the GI Bill, Dick returned to the states in 1945 to marry Marjorie Lee Smith and attend college. He graduated with a Bachelor and Master’s Degree(s) in school counseling and guidance from Western Illinois University. While working in both the Springfield, MO and Canton, IL Public Schools, Dick proudly raised his family, son Ryk and daughters Cyd, Kyp and Lyb. He retired following his appointment as Guidance Counselor at Spoon River Community College.
Dick fully embraced his retirement by continuing his lifelong passion for playing golf. He was a well-respected player across the Springfield area and earned nine holes in one over the course of his time on the links. His humor and ability entertained fellow players of all ages for decades.
His return to Springfield afforded him the chance to meet and eventually marry Peggy Mitchell. Dick was very much a father figure to her daughters, Melanie and Meara. They had many adventures enjoying time as a family.
Dick remained passionate about his family, golf and Cardinals baseball until his last days. As his spirit soars into the “wild blue yonder”, Dick will be remembered by so many for his infinite wisdom, sense of fairness, competitive spirit, golfing prowess, love of good music, dancing skills, handsome smile and affection. Dick Howell will be greatly missed by those who were so very fortunate to know and love him.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Hazel; siblings, William “Bill” and Martha “Sister”, baby grandson Cody and great grandson Emerson.
He is survived by his loving wife Peggy, of Republic; children Ryk Howell (Becky) of Canton, IL, Cyd Fithian (Bob) of Newburgh, IN, Kyp McLaren (Rick) of Canton, IL, and Lyb Howell of Pekin, IL; stepdaughters Melanie Mitchell-Wexler of Germantown, MD and Meara Mitchell of Kansas City, MO; 11 grandchildren of Illinois, Indiana and Maryland and 24 great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held in Dick’s honor at 11 a.m., Friday, September 27 at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery located at 5201 Southwood Road, Springfield, MO. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the B-29 Cafe: 1751 West State Highway J, Ozark, Mo. (Across from Lamberts)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dick’s name to Seasons Hospice, 1831 West Melville Road, Springfield, MO 65803 (www.springfieldhospice.com) or the Disabled American Veterans Charity (www.dav.org) .