Erling (Jim) Howell, 82, of Lexington, Nebraska passed away on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at the Lexington Regional Health Center. He was surrounded by family when he left his earthly body to go to his heavenly home.
He was born on October 14, 1939 in Gothenburg, Nebraska to Calvin and Rosie (Cochrane) Howell. Jim attended public schools in Cozad and graduated from Cozad High School with the class of 1957. He then went on to further his education at Hastings College on academic scholarship for two years.
Jim united in marriage to Barbara (Peck) Howell on November 16, 1961. Four children were blessed to this union: Laura, Theresa, Marsha, and Thomas.
On March 26, 1962, Jim entered the United States Army and proudly served his country in the military working in a chemical laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland until being honorably discharged on March 25, 1965.
Upon his discharge from the military, the family made their home in Cozad until their marriage would later end in divorce. Jim moved to Kearney where he was employed with Rockwell and Caldwell’s. He then moved to Lexington where he worked for Sperry New Holland until the plant closed. Jim then moved to Madison, Nebraska working for Emerson Electric (Appleton Electric) in the Manufacturing Plant in Columbus. Jim moved back to Lexington in 2000, where he worked at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods department which he thoroughly enjoyed working with his co-workers for three years before retiring. He was remembered for his knowledge of hunting and fishing equipment and never minded spending the extra time telling you fishing or hunting stories. That was, after all, his favorite thing to do.
Jim remained single the rest of his days following his divorce and dedicated his life to raising his children, who were in his custody, teaching them the importance of letting your word is the most valuable gift you could give to another. His only distraction to life, outside of this or work was the fish calling his name from the Inlet, Young’s Check, to name a few, or an unfortunate deer that was caught in his rifle sight. The only thing that kept Jim from a fishing bank or canyon hunting deer was family. Jim was a middle child in a lineup of fourteen children, so he learned from an early age the value of family. He mastered this skill and spent the rest of his days honoring that legacy he learned, instilling it into every relationship, whether family, friend, or fellow fisherman on the bank. He. Loved. You. When his health allowed, he seldom missed a celebration of a birthday, graduation, family reunion, or any other important event you were hosting. If it was important to you, it mattered to him. You would find him there, whether he understood a gender reveals party or not. He understood what it meant to be present.
Survivors include his children, Marsha (Steve) Mars-McBride of Lexington and Tom (April) Howell of Lee Summit, Missouri; four grandchildren, Dustin (Miranda) Helmuth of Grand Island, Derrick (Sarah) Hopkins of Grand Island, Jimmy (Michelle) Hopkins of Hastings and Brittany (Calvin) Roberts of Phillips; six great-grandchildren, Haley, Emma, Kylie, Kaleb, Hannah and Beckham; three brothers, Marvin (Bonnie) Howell of Maxwell, Gary (Anna) Howell of Cozad and Terry (Aecha) Howell of Cozad; sisters and brothers-in-law, Wanda Howell of Cozad, Kenny Anderson of Cozad, Harvey Baker of Texas, Dean Zimmerman of Mesquite,Texas, and Merna Howell of Denver, Colorado; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Besides his parents, Jim was preceded in death by two daughters, Laura Ann (Frank) Wampole and Theresa Ann Howell; grandson, Richard Wample; brothers, Ronald Howell, Lloyd Howell and Johnny Howell; sisters, Barbie Anderson, Sherry (Dennis) Bartes, June (Harry) Woehrle, Marlene (Rodney) Sherman, Norma Jean Baker, Donna (Carl) Bell, and Kay Zimmerman. Sister in laws: Anna (Gary) Howell, Aecha (Terry) Howell, and several nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home, Luncheon to be served at Lexington Christian Church following the service. Family burial to be held at a later date.
Military Honors will be provided by the United States Army Funeral Honors Team.
Memorials are kindly suggested to your own cherished charity. A bench will be purchased in his honor and placed at Johnson Lake Inlet.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com