William H. Howell Jr.

Published 3:14 pm Monday, October 15, 2012

William Herman Howell Jr. of Howells Corner, Franklin, Va., departed his earthly home on October 13, 2012, at age 92.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Helen Rose Howell; sons William H. Howell III (Jackie) of Franklin and John F. Howell (Wendy) of Honolulu; and daughter, Janet R. Howell of Richmond. He is also survived by four grandchildren, William Stewart Howell (Jackie), Susan Howell Suiter (Ghi), John Michael Howell and Samantha Mae Ling Howell; and four great-grandchildren, Robert and Jackson Howell, and Emily and Madison Suiter.

He is pre-deceased by his infant son, Carson Lee Howell; parents William H. Howell Sr. and Etta Johnson Howell; half-brother Robert Cobb Howell; and stepmother, Carrie Cobb Howell.

After graduating from Franklin High School, William attended Virginia Tech where he studied agricultural engineering and then returned to Southampton County where he pursued his love of farming.

Helen and William were married December 6, 1942, and awakened the next day to find that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. William served his country during World War II as a tech sergeant in Louisiana and Liverpool, England, with the 685thNon-combat Engineers.

After the death of his mother during the flu epidemic of 1920, William, who was only 4 months old, was reared by his grandparents, William Fletcher Howell and Geneva Holland Howell, and aunts and uncles.

He was an active member of Franklin Baptist Church where he served the Lord as a deacon, a member of the Bruner Bible class, and many other positions of leadership.

He was a quiet man who gave to those less fortunate without wanting or expecting recognition.

In the community, he was a charter member of the Forks of the River Ruritan Club, served two terms on the Southampton County School Board, and served as a director on the local advisory board of what is now Sun Trust Bank.

He also served on the board of directors of Dixie Guano Co. and the local Southern States Co-Operative.

William and his wife, Helen, were a part of the founding group for the Southampton Agricultural Museum &Heritage Village where they gave untold hours of service to the museum, with William serving over 10 years as chairman of the museum. Under his direction, a number of structures were added to the museum grounds.

They still found time for themselves and loved to travel with family and friends.

A memorial service will be conducted by Rev. Brent Kimlick and Rev. Sharon James in the sanctuary at Franklin Baptist Church on Friday, October 19, 2012, at 2 p.m. After the service, the family will receive friends in the fellowship hall for visitation and a celebration of life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Franklin Baptist Church Capital Fund at 208 N. High St., Franklin, Va., 23851, or Southampton Agricultural Museum & Heritage Village, c/o Jimmy O’Berry, 724 Chaucer Court, Franklin, Va. 23851.

Wright Funeral Home is assisting the family. www.wrightfuneralhome.org.